Business student

Virginia Tech student starts sauce business to honor Aunt Carol who died of cancer

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The West End Market at Virginia Tech has signs promoting an upcoming collaboration between a young entrepreneur and the executive chef.

“I contacted him, we had a chat, we thought about boneless chicken and prawns and it was just unreal. And here we are in April, for that to happen,” said Virginia Tech senior Tahjere Lewis.

Lewis contacted West End Market executive chef Scott Surratt to offer his sauce in the dining room.

Surratt was on board.

“I’ve tasted it, it’s more of a cocktail sauce, but it sure has a lot more flavor. His spicy was definitely my favorite,” Surratt said.

Lewis’ company, Aunt Carol’s Sauce, offers two flavors: spicy and mild. He started his business after arriving in Blacksburg, inspired by his aunt.

“When I was going to college I wanted to know where I could get the sauce from and my aunt told me she made the sauce. I was so amazed she made it,” said explained Lewis.

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The story behind Lewis Sauce makes it even more special. Her aunt Carol died of cancer. The sauce was his secret recipe. Lewis promised him before his death in 2018 that he would one day sell his signature sauce.

“My aunt didn’t believe me. I really didn’t believe myself. I knew nothing about entrepreneurship or business creation. But I knew I loved my aunt and I love her sauce. And I thought everyone would like that,” he added.

“The biggest thing that wanted me to make the sauce and bring him in was just his passion for it, his story about his aunt,” Surratt said.

Aunt Carol’s Sauce will be available on Boneless Wings and Prawns at West End Market on Wednesday, April 20 from 12-6 p.m.

Sauce with a story. Served with the inheritance of a loved one.

For more information on Aunt Carol’s Sauce, click here.

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