By Abby Thompson
Tucked away in the small community of Teasdale near Enid, Mississippi, better known for its crappie and bass fishing, sits a country home and a husband and wife who turned a hobby into a business venture.
Zane Alford, originally from Marks, Mississippi, and his wife, Kathy Jo, have lived in Enid since 2001 in this home that provides a beautiful landscape. Instead of drinking their morning coffee on the front porch looking out at the countryside and small pond, Zane and Kathy Jo have decided to take a risk at turning a personal table sauce into a worldwide business.
Upon meeting Zane and hearing his story, his humbleness is the first thing you’d notice. As the creator behind this sauce, known as “Sherin Sauce,” interestingly named after his two daughters, Shelby and Erin, Alford gives much credit to his wife, Kathy Jo.
“She’s just as much a part of this as I am,” Alford said. “She is a phenomenal cook and is always trying something new.”
Sherin Sauce was originally birthed when Alford was in college cooking for his friends.
“I couldn’t find a sauce to suit me,” Alford said. “So I tried to make my own.”
What started out to be a sauce for their enjoyment quickly turned into making it for friends and family. Eventually, the Alford’s started making the sauce for Farmer’s Markets all across the state.
“From May 18 to the end of November, 2019,” Alford said, “we were at a Farmer’s Market every Saturday.”
In the beginning, sales were small.
“We would sell three cases on a Saturday, and we thought that was a good day’s work,” Alford said.
Now, they are selling many times that amount, and this little sauce is making itself known all across Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, Washington, and even Germany in specialty shops, boutiques and grocery stores. It is also used for fundraisers, Farmer’s Co-ops and gifts from employers.
A commercial kitchen is soon-to-be installed at the Alford home the first week in February, making production time much faster so Zane and Kathy Jo are able to keep up with the current boom in sales. Previously, the couple had driven to a commercial kitchen weekly in West Memphis, Arkansas, to mass produce the sauce.
“I’m as shocked as anybody the sauce has grown the way it has,” Alford said. “If God continues to bless it, we’ll continue to make it,” Alford said very matter-of-factly.
In fact, Alford continually speaks of his gratitude and appreciation to Shriner’s Hospital.
“There is no doubt that a large portion of our sales will go to Shriner’s,” Alford said, who spent time under their care as an infant.
The unique thing about Sherin Sauce is its versatility. It has been used as a marinade for Boston butts, chicken and pork chops; a dip with sour cream on tacos; a sauce on sandwiches, pizza and omelettes; and as a dressing on salads. With its versatility, customers have put this sauce on any-and-everything.
Sherin Sauce can be found on Facebook at Sherin Sauce, where Kathy Jo posts many of her favorite recipes with the sauce.
“We just want people to love and enjoy and share the sauce the way we do,” Alford said.