STL’s own “Ghetto Sauce” is moving uptown.
Barbecue sauce sultan Freddie Lee James has signed a deal to buy property at 19th Street and Carr Avenue to house his operation.
After years of sharing a community kitchen and then leasing space, “this place is going to be ours,” James said.
The new facility will expand his production space from 2,700 square feet to about 6,000.
“Ghetto Sauce” began on a stove in the kitchen of Freddie Lee and Deborah James in the Greater Ville neighborhood of north St. Louis.
Then in 2010, the couple rented access to a commercial kitchen at St. Patrick Center. Three years later, sales were climbing fast enough to force them to move the operation to a larger commissary in Belleville. Then in 2019, the company leased its current space at Second and Biddle streets.
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The sauce is stocked by numerous stores, including the Dierbergs, Schnucks and Hy-Vee stores chains. And James said their mail-order operation increased significantly during the pandemic.
“We just outgrew this space,” James said of his current location. “We need a new place so we can build up our stock.”