Sweet Baby Ray's is a nominee for a Luxist Readers' Choice Award for Best Gourmet Sauces.
The company was founded in 1985 when a local Chicagoan named "Chef Larry" perfected his family's recipe for a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce. He entered it into the country's largest rib cook-off ("The Mike Royko Rib-Off"). Chef Larry called his sauce Sweet Baby Ray's after his younger brother, David, who got the nickname playing basketball on the west side of Chicago.
On the day of the rib-off, Sweet Baby Ray's beat out nearly 700 entrants to come in second--an amazing feat for an unknown. Word of Sweet Baby Ray's spread like wildfire. By 1994, Sweet Baby Ray's distinctive bottle could be found on grill pits and dinner tables across the Midwest. By the end of the century, Sweet Baby Ray's sales in the U.S. exceeded 500,000 cases annually and today, is the fastest growing BBQ sauce company in America.
Gallery: Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce
Sweet Baby Ray's products come in a variety of favors, including: Sweet Baby Ray's Original, Sweet Baby Ray's Honey, Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory & Brown Sugar, Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet 'n Spicy, Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Chiptole and Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet Vidalia Onion. It comes in 18 oz,, 28 oz, 40 oz and 80 oz bottles.
Sweet Baby Ray's gourmet sauces are available for purchase at most large grocery store chains, including Kroger, Walmart, Meijer, Cub Foods, Albertson's, Ralphs, Vons, Safeway, Wegmans and Stop & Shop, among many others. For more information call Sweet Baby Ray's toll free line at (877) 729-2229 or email it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vote for the Gourmet Sauce that you believe is the best of breed. The voting period runs through July 31 and winners will be announced on August 1.