Barbecue sauce goes from family recipe to business

What started as Brenda Lovingood’s popular homemade barbecue sauce served at family receptions is now business.

The Peoria native now owns “Lovingood Foods”Specializing in BBQ sauce.

“This is what I do and I love to do it,” said Brenda. “Since my childhood, I love to cook. And everything I have cooked is usually from scratch. And to have a husband and 11 children, you have to know how to cook.

Brenda works alongside her husband and vice president, Tony. And although the 11 adult children are now spread across the country, each contributes in their own way to the family business.

Brenda said her entrepreneurial journey started with many “quality control experts.”

“It was fun because it’s like when they ate, that’s what brought me joy,” she said. “Watching my family and others enjoy the food they ate. “

Brenda and her team started launching Lovingood Foods operations in 2016 and in 2018 started sales.

“I literally, from January to April of that year, sold it in the trunk of the car to family and friends who knew about it,” she recalls.

From trunks to stores, Lovingood BBQ Sauce is now available in 23 locations across central Illinois and the Midwest.

“It took off even faster than we thought,” said Brenda. “It’s a call from God. I tried several times to put this on the back burner and it kept popping up, kept popping up.

As for the sequel, Brenda says she’s looking to grow nationwide and even start serving other recipes.

“Other things like my cookies, my sausage sauce. I have spaghetti sauce, a lot of other things, ”she said.

But whatever other changes may arise, she can count on her food, family, and faith.

“People, they’re sitting down and eating and they’re just in a different place,” Brenda said. “They have fun and make me enjoy.”

The family-owned business is hosting a tasting at the Grand Prairie Hyvee on May 4th.

For a list of places to purchase Lovingood’s barbecue products, Click here.

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