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Mutt's Sauce Small Business Journey
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September 13, 2022
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Charlynda Scales, Founder of Mutt's Sauce hugging her SCORE mentor John Soutar
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While serving in the US Air Force, Charlie “Mutt” Ferrell, Jr. was known for his homemade, all-purpose sauce. Decades later, his granddaughter Charlynda founded Mutt’s Sauce to share it with the world.

Mutt's Sauce infographic showing the timeline of their business journey from the idea stage to present day.

  • 1956 - Charlie “Mutt” Ferrell, Jr. creates his own sauce to jazz up his family meals. Over the next 50 years, he shares it across the world.
  • 2005 - Mutt passes away. No one knows what happened to his famous recipe.
  • 2013 - While serving on active duty, Charlynda Scales, Mutt’s granddaughter, learns that Mutt left her the only copy of his recipe.

"He had five children,  but he left it to me, his third grandchild. I was obsessed with that sauce.”

1. July, 2013 - Charlynda decides to bottle Mutt’s sauce to share with friends and family. She Googles “free business help” and finds SCORE, which connects her with mentor John Soutar.

"John was my grandfather’s age, which was cathartic. Since that day, he’s always been there. He’s so reliable, he even has a landline phone!”

2. Four months later, in November 2013, Mutt’s Sauce has its first day of production. How SCORE Helped: John finds Charlynda a SCORE peer mentor specializing in the food and beverage industry.

3. December, 2013 - Mutt’s Sauce launches and sells out that same week. How SCORE Helped: John coaches Charlynda to reinvest the money to increase production.

  • 2014 - Charlynda attends the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, where she auditions for Shark Tank. Three months later, she pitches Mutt’s Sauce in Hollywood — and gets rejected. How SCORE Helped: John encourages her to forge ahead, and they decide to try to get Mutt’s Sauce on shelves at Kroger.
  • 2017 - Mutt’s Sauce wins the Bob Evans Heroes to CEOs contest for veteran-owned businesses.
  • 2018 - Charlynda takes the prize money, scales up her manufacturing, and lands the Kroger contract. As a female minority veteran, Charlynda gets a contract to stock Mutt’s Sauce at the Military Deli at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. After 5 years, John steps down as Charlynda’s mentor — and joins the board of advisors for Mutt’s Sauce.

"I miss having him as my mentor every day. But he still gives me the best advice.”

  • 2020 - In March, COVID-19 strikes, and Charlynda’s main revenue streams dry up overnight. That same month, she gives birth to her son and her parents move in. Charlynda refocuses on online sales. They make more money that June than they do all summer during a typical year.

"We’re bringing American families together one bottle of sauce at a time, and that’s never hit home more than this year.”

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Equitable Foundation directs the philanthropic and volunteer activities of Equitable, one of America’s leading financial services providers since 1859. Through philanthropy, volunteerism and sustainability, Equitable Foundation leverages resources, including partnerships and grants, to contribute to the success and vitality of our communities and build a stronger society for all we serve.

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Mutt’s Sauce

In 2017, Scales won Bob Evans Farms’ grant competition for veterans, Heroes to CEOs. Scales was awarded $25,000 and a mentoring session with Shark Tank’s Daymond John. She strategically used that money to scale up her business, going from producing 700 bottles of sauce per day to 8,000, and getting her product into more than 60 Kroger grocery stores.

“Every bottle of Mutt’s Sauce is made with love and determination and we want to see Mutt’s Sauce across America,” Scales says.

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