Growing up in an Italian family left Rick with many wonderful memories. The one that really took hold was all the cooking and enjoying meals with family and friends. Rick learned to cook from his mother , who was a great creative cook and could put together a delicious meals with seemingly little effort, while his dad taught him how to grill, cook outdoors(using the game they got while hunting), and institutionalize the portions when cooking for large nonprofit groups. As a young teen he worked for his uncle in the meat market business taking interest and learning many skills that would prove to benefit him in his future. During his high school years, He went on to work as a butcher for another meat market learning how to cut up different kinds of meat and make sausage.
As the years passed, and his love for hunting continued., Rick would buy pieces of commercial kitchen equipment to use in processing his game. His prize piece of equipment was the sausage stuffer he inherited from his uncle after his death. It really meant a lot to him because he used it in his uncles meat market when he worked there, and it remains with him today.
All his equipment was set up in a building on his property, mainly used to process game. It became a gathering place and fellowship hall for many of his hunting buddies while they butchered, ground, stuffed, and smoked their game. He built his first smoker out of an old Sears upright freezer that had stopped working. It worked like a charm, but when he felt like he needed more space, he built his second one out of blocks and ordered all the parts to make it work. Over the years Rick has cooked for many nonprofit organization events. He loves using his cooking skills to give to others.
Because of his love for cooking and his creative ability in all he does, he decided to make his own bbq sauce to use on his meats. Shortly following, he developed the rub to put on his meat before he cooked them. He was told by many that it was so good he needed to get his sauce and rub on the market. His duties as a developer did not allow much time for perusing co-packers, but over the years he tried several time to get someone to make his sauce taste like his so they cold bottle it to get on the market. No one could achieve the taste so one evening when Carolyn was reading her In Register magazine and saw the article on Gaye Sandoz and her drive to set up a Food Incubator at LSU, she knew that was the answer. This would give them the opportunity to bottle Rick's three sauces themselves. Carolyn contacted Gaye and the work for her began. It took quite some time to get everything done including all the tedious steps to get the label developed and state approval, licensing, and locating all the necessary supplies to begin the bottling process. Carolyn has always ran the office for all the businesses they have had, including the construction development business, so her hands were quite full already, but she managed to get it all done.
Finally all the work to get started was complete, and in early 2015 the training at the LSU Food Incubator began. The rest is now history. We are regularly bottling our own sauce at LSU and sincerely appreciate all the help and guidance that went in to getting our business started!