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An air force veteran turned her grandfather’s secret sauce into a booming business

Ari Bines
·2-min read

“Shop Small” is a series where we speak to founders of small businesses discussing how their products and services address the needs of the members of the communities in which the founders identify.

When air force veteran Charlynda Scales’ revamped her grandfather’s secret recipe for Mutt’s Sauce, she wasn’t prepared for how her revamped version would take off.

“The story of Mutt’s Sauce is actually about my grandfather,” Scales tells In The Know. “His call sign was ‘Mutt,’ he was in the air force, an aircraft mechanic, but he came up with this sauce in 1956. It’s been in my family forever.”

According to Scales, her grandfather thought people were wasteful with condiments. To combat that, he came up with one sauce to rule them all.

Shop: Original Mutt’s Sauce, (3-Pack), $29

Credit: Mutt’s Sauce

“I actually went into the air force, too,” Scales says. “I wanted to follow in his footsteps. Imagine being on active duty and you learn that you inherit the only copy of this recipe with no instructions.”

For Mutt’s Sauce, Scales does three different takes on her grandfather’s classic recipe: Original, Ghost Pepper and Sweet and Spicy. There’s also a gluten-free version of the sauce. Scales explains that foodies can enjoy the sauce on eggs or hash browns for breakfast or use it as a stir fry or a steak sauce for dinner. She recommends the Ghost Pepper flavor to make hot wings and there’s even a drink made from the sauce called The Bloody Mutt, a spin on the bloody mary.

Shop: Sweet And Spicy, (3-Pack), $29

Credit: Mutt’s Sauce

Shop: Ghost Pepper, (3-Pack), $29

Credit: Mutt’s Sauce

Shop: Mutt’s Sauce Combo 3-Pack, $29

Credit: Mutt’s Sauce

Scales explains that she only planned to make a few bottles for friends and family. However, the brand scaled up “about three times” faster than Scales initially projected.

In addition to offering up delicious condiments, Mutt’s also donates a percentage of every sale to various charities. One of the brand’s give back programs includes Scars Uncovered, an organization that gives packages to burn survivors.

“I think it’s always good to give back what has been given to you,” Scales says.

Having offered her services in more ways than one, Scales is on her way to earning even more accolades.

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