ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ is not just an entertaining reality series but a dream come true for aspiring businesspersons. Since its inception in 2009, the award-winning show has provided a golden opportunity to hundreds of enterprising people who have pitched their innovative and novel ideas. The Sharks (industry leaders) magnanimously invest millions of dollars in exchange for some percentage of shares in companies that have the potential to become profitable businesses. Similarly, Sienna Sauce, founded by a teen entrepreneur, displayed a promising future by way of its boundless success within a couple of years after its launch. It naturally intrigued us to find out how far the company has come in terms of its growth, and here is everything we found out!
Sienna Sauce: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
The founder and CEO of Sienna Sauce, Tyla-Simone Crayton, saw her mother inviting all her aunts for traditional “wings and wine Wednesdays in their apartment located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. But on one such Wednesday, her mom, Monique Crayton, had no sauce to supplement the homemade chicken wings as their favorite restaurant had recently shut down.
The then-8-year-old child took the matters into her own tiny hands and attempted to recreate the unique dressing. Throwing in “random” ingredients, she managed to make an even-better flavoring, and the now-17-year-old sells the same for less than $10 a bottle. But the idea of selling the homemade barbecue-style sauce on a large scale did not occur immediately.
In fact, it was not until April 2017 that Crayton and her mom set up a kitchen with four deep fryers while living in Sienna Plantation, Texas. The two hosted the same wings-night every Friday, charging between $12.95 and $30.95 per meal, and it was such a success that they began to sell 700-1,000 wings every time and brought in $48,000. Crayton and Monique knew it would boom as a full-time business, so the latter let her then-14-year-old daughter bottle and sell Sienna Sauce, which they named after their town, starting in 2018. By June 2018, Monique became Sienna Sauce’s COO and hired a manufacturer to surge the quantity produced by the end of the year.
Sienna Sauce has a delicious flavoring and being gluten-free without any HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), it can easily replace unhealthy condiments and serve as a marinade, glaze, or dip. It is not vegan as the contents also include honey for a hint of sweetness to its tanginess which perfectly complements chicken, pork, beef, and seafood that has been fried, smoked, baked, or grilled. After launching her first “signature sauce” flavor, Tangy, in 2018, Crayton added two more mouth-watering tastes: Lemon Pepper and Spicy, exclusively paying heed to her customers’ demands.
Sienna Sauce: Where Are They Now?
Sienna Sauce was such a hit that by 2019, that it had sold over 25,000 bottles and generated $192,000 in revenue. By the end of 2020, the company had landed more than $45,000 in funding through pitch competitions and has raised nearly $200,000 through crowdfunding investors. The same year, the founder was named one of the Top 50 Black Professionals and Entrepreneurs in Texas.
Crayton has no plan of slowing down and her hard work is clearly bearing early fruit. In February 2021, Sienne Sauce got stocked on the shelves of the H-E-B Grocery store in Texas and Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to the official website and app, SiennaWings, the two-time winner of Sauce-A-Holic sauce is also sold at over 70 retail stores across the US, including Texas, New York State, and New Jersey, and on eCommerce platforms like Amazon and Walmart. The company is currently not shipping outside of the US but has plans to provide a subscription service and create a new hot sauce line, Sienna Lit, in the near future.