India Russell and Lamont Stuckey, owners of Everythang Sauce, holding bottles of their sauce.
Co-owners India Russell and Lamont Stuckey created Everythang Sauce as an accidental spinoff business for their catering company and grew it into a successful e-commerce business. — Everythang Sauce

Creating a successful small business is an ongoing and ever-evolving process. That's why India Russell and Lamont Stuckey, owners of Everythang Sauce by Veganish Foodies and VegFest 413, encourage entrepreneurs to archive their business journey as it happens, to help themselves and others to learn and grow from their experience.

The small business duo founded Everythang Sauce by accident as a byproduct of their existing catering business, Veganish Foodies. They quickly learned that creating a system and documenting their progress helped save them time, energy, and money as they grew. These systems were especially important when it came time to make the decision to transition their business model.

“Document your process and create a system, no matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey,” said Russell. “[Systems] will also help you make better choices in your business path for future decision making.”

Creating a product that enhances the consumer experience

Everythang Sauce is a subtle and versatile vegan-based sweet sauce that can be used as a replacement in lieu of hot sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and, as the name implies, any other type of sauce you can think of. Russell and Stuckey created the business as a way to offer consumers healthier options than the traditional condiments in their fridges.

The idea behind their business is “overcoming personal health issues by implementing healthier food options, one meal at a time,” Stuckey said. “Our results inspired us to want to teach other people how to heal themselves healthy through alternative eating.”

Based out of Springfield, Massachusetts, the culinary creatives developed their Everythang Sauce recipe for their catering business. The sauce grew in popularity from there as the duo began to sell it not only at their catering events but at brick-and-mortar stores and markets as well.

[Read more: E-Commerce Business: How to Write a Great Product Description]

Document your process and create a system, no matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey.

India Russell, co-owner, Everythang Sauce

Pivoting and growing during a pandemic

Like many entrepreneurs, Russell and Stuckey faced difficulties when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, as Everythang Sauce was primarily sold at their in-person events. When those events were on hold in early 2020, they had to pivot to selling online.

“Once the pandemic hit, we had no choice but to develop a game plan and blueprint on how to scale, market, and advertise to get customers to purchase online,” Stuckey said.

“Making the switch to sell solely online was quite challenging,” Russell added. “We had to implement another stream of income in place of our catering services. So we created more products and courses to sell online or host virtually in order to still teach and provide healthier alternative options.”

Luckily, the entrepreneurs had some help in optimizing their business’ e-commerce store. They applied for the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab, a program that helps female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color sell their products online and scale their e-commerce through online courses.

“The FedEx course really helped us thoroughly develop a blueprint on how to use e-commerce, and how to market and make sales through e-commerce, especially during the holiday seasons,” Stuckey said.

Russell and Stuckey never anticipated that their business would transition to a primarily e-commerce model. However, by creating a customer-forward product and learning important lessons from their past, they were able to expand their reach and grow their business online.

[Read more: 5 Unavoidable Costs E-Commerce Businesses Often Overlook]

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Published July 29, 2022