The Family that Slathers Together

Slather Brand Foods…Defined and Redefined

052 (2) Mother and Daughter Grammie and Carolyn Grace

Extreme joy comes in small bundles

On Monday, October 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm Ayla Blair Barnes came into the world. Although she had been anticipated for many months nothing would be as significant as the moment that she actually emerged from her mother’s womb and became a joy that would touch my heart in the most profound way. I had been fortunate to experience this extreme joy only 16 months earlier when Carolyn Grace entered the world. The birth of these two wonderfully magnificent little human beings not only brought me the most ultimate joy I could ever hope to experience but more importantly gave me a renewed perspective.

What directs my life

In the fall of 2010 and after many long and agonizing months I had reached a point in my life when I was willing to risk all the money I had saved and ever material possession I owned in pursuit of Passion. I left the comfort and security of Corporate America and founded Slather Brand Foods. I never really set out to become a food manufacturer but I knew I wanted to be involved in the food industry. When I looked at my life and the things that brought me the most joy I was compelled to do what I loved most. There was nothing I loved more than cooking and entertaining my family and friends with my culinary delights.

Slatherin’ Sauce originates at home

Slather Brand Slatherin’ Sauce was just one of the many creations that I prepared to delight everyone’s palate. It was also a condiment that could be replicated and had such a diverse variety of uses on everything from chocolate to wild game that it was marketable. It had become a staple in my own home and in those that I loved. I can’t tell you how many gallons of Slatherin’ Sauce were prepared in my kitchen and lovingly dispersed among family and friends for many years.

The vision of Slather Brand Foods was to take my love of cooking which I had been inspired by my mother and grandmother and share it beyond my own loved ones. I wanted to share with other families a product that had been at the core of everything I believed in…healthy food, amazing taste, and family and friends. I was simply driven by Passion and have done everything I can to make a dream become a reality.

Lessons learned

Entrepreneurship is NOT for the faint of heart…. not in a good economy and certainly not in a bad economy. However, an entrepreneur is someone who takes risks. An entrepreneur is someone who has calculated the risks and is willing to pursue dreams and chance leaving the shore in pursuit of new lands. With that being said, there have been many times when I have scratched my head and asked myself, “What were you thinking?”

On Monday, October 1st at 4:54 pm I knew what I was thinking. I was thinking that I must be the luckiest woman on earth. I had the honor and privilege of witnessing the birth of my first and second granddaughter. I realized that no matter what I had achieved or had not achieved to this point in my life that I am blessed. I am proud of the fact that I have risked it all and pursued Passion… for it is a gift to my beloved granddaughters, Carolyn Grace and Ayla Blair. Slather Brand Foods is a symbol of their heritage no matter our future. It is a testament to being true to a dream and never being afraid to take risks for the things in life that have meaning and bring value to those you love. Of all the things that are important in my life there is only one thing that I really care about…I want to be remembered for being a great ancestor.

Gratitude for life, family, and your loyalty

From the deepest depths of my heart and soul I want to take this opportunity to thank any and everyone who has supported Slather Brand Foods in any capacity over the last two years. From my precious family to yours… We are deeply humbled and want you to know how grateful we truly are for having this awesome experience. We invite you to become a part of our growing family and hope that we will become a part of yours. We sincerely hope that our Brand is not just a staple in your home but a symbol of family and all the things that are truly important in life. Thank you for sharing our joy!!!

Slathered with Love

Vintage Valentine

Remember when you were a kid how exciting it was to get Valentines? Valentine’s Day was truly a celebration. First your teacher had you bring in an old shoe box with a lid that you proudly decorated with doilies, red and pink construction paper hearts, and anything else creative little minds could think of to make their box special. You shopped for the themed box Valentine collection that best suited you and had the messages you wanted to send. All boxes had a Valentine for the teacher and a few extra special messages for people you were particularly fond of. In my case that would have been Douglas Schaffer, my first grade sweetheart. Those Levis with the rolled up leg, the plaid shirt, and the little Dab-o–Do in the his hair made me weak in the knees.

The night before the big day you would get out the classmate list that your teacher had run off on the Ditto machine and you carefully selected who was to get which Valentine. Gosh, I loved the smell of that purple ink!!!! You wanted to make sure you didn’t leave anyone out but you also wanted to make sure everyone got the right message. One message in particular that I remember said “ Meet me on the 98” or maybe it was the 99. In any event, as a kid I was not sure what was going to happen on the 98 but it sounded exhilarating to me.

Then there was the encoding of your name in numbers that corresponded to the letters of the alphabet on the back of the Valentine. I was 18-15-2-9-14. Valentine’s Day certainly was filled with anticipation as we looked forward to the room-mothers bringing in treats and the opportunity to play Postmaster.

I think what made it even more exciting was that the teacher would not let us open our boxes until we got home. There the decoding process began. And when we realized that the kid that always had his finger up his nose gave us a mushy valentine and we screamed “YUCK” no one would be embarrassed by our reaction. I guess that was why our teacher did that. She was trying to teach of about sensitivity to others.

Reminiscing about Valentine’s Day sure is fun. So as this Valentine’s Day draws near we hope you take a minute to think about all the ways you have celebrated over the years and find some exciting ways to celebrate this year with your loved ones.

Slather Brand Foods has developed some wonderful recipes like Slathered Dark Chocolate Truffles to help you celebrate. Our wish for you is that no matter how you decide to celebrate that you will “Slather and Be Slathered with Love”.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Photo credit: flickr user karen horton

Happy Fourth of July!

I’m so happy to live here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina! Our state has an interesting history because we were one of the original 13 Colonies in America.

Today, we’ll all be celebrating our forefathers’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. I hope each of you, no matter what your political affiliation, will take a moment with your friends and family members and read aloud the text of the Declaration and realize exactly how blessed we are today to have had such wise people helping to found our nation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Then get out there and celebrate, sing the national anthem and hug your family, swim in the ocean, sail your boat, help a neighbor, and embody the truth of our freedom in your everyday actions!

Photo credit: Declaration, Wikipedia; Fireworks flickr user anthonycramp

Father’s Day in my family

Spring 2011 244As Father’s Day approaches and the market is flooded with gift giving ideas to make those special men in our lives feel loved and appreciated, I am reminded of my beloved father, Earl Henry Rhea. The perfect gifts for Daddy were a box of Sophie Mae Peanut Brittle, a can of Prince Albert tobacco, and a package of new undershirts.

Father’s Day was always celebrated by going to church with Momma and Daddy followed by a magnificent picnic in the backyard. My Father was a native Charlestonian and we were true Southerners feasting on fried chicken, red rice, potato salad, butter beans and okra, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, homemade lemonade, and hand churned peach ice cream.

The celebration always ended with Daddy opening 1 of his 6 boxes of Sophie Mae AJC Staff (There were 6 kids and no matter what else we bought him…we all bought him Sophie Mae). He would give each of us one piece and maybe two if we asked but he never opened more than 1 box. These were his private stash and rightfully so. He never asked for much and gave unselfishly… he deserved it.

This Father’s Day I will be celebrating in the same style that is reminiscent of those wonderful times growing up. I will be hosting a backyard picnic in honor of three special fathers who grace my life and give me reason to celebrate this joyous day: Curtis Mitchell, Dustin Barnes and Craig Snyder, (at left holding his daughter and my granddaughter, Carolyn Grace). And as always I will do what I have done for at least the past 50 years. I will purchase a box of Sophie Mae Peanut Brittle, eat a piece, and lovingly remember Daddy.

Memorial Day—More than Grilling and Swimming

Perhaps you are planning to share time with family, neighbors and friends this long weekend that is our annual turn into summertime activities. But, are you planning to take time to remember and recognize those for whom this holiday was established to honor?

The history of Memorial Day

This holiday is set aside to remember those who died in service of our country’s armed forces. It was originally called Declaration Day and there are many stories of how it got started. Following the Civil War (or the War Between the States), faithful families decorated the graves of soldiers. Both Confederate and Union solders’ graves were decorated in each area of the country with the first national Decoration Day happening in Arlington Cemetery on May 30, 1868. Charleston has a significant and interesting connection with the early recognition of war dead.

Following World War I and in response to the now famous poem, “In Flanders Fields”, Moina Michael, wrote a poem of response referencing the wearing of poppies to remember war dead.

When I was growing up, there was always a campaign by the VFW to sell poppies and use the funds to help veterans. I remember how everyone wore those paper poppies. I wish they were still sold and worn.

Perhaps this Memorial Day, you can wear a red ribbon to signify that you remember.

How will you and your family remember those whose lives ended in sacrifice and support of our country?

Please share with me what you will do.

Photo Credit: Child in poppy field, flickr user mollypop, red poppy in hands, VFW Buddy Poppy