Happy Birthday, Boat Sauce

Happy Birthday, Boat Sauce

If I have done my job as a marketer, you should already know the story of Bobbie's Boat Sauce: in the middle of a sailing trip in Canada's Inside Passage, I created a spicy, tangy, umami tomato-chili sauce with fridge leftovers and pantry staples to go with a fish caught off the side of our boat.  

Less descriptive, but more factual, is my travel journal entry from that day, June 25th, 2015:

"I've made some pretty incredible meals and I should put them up somewhere. Tonight's grilled rockfish with chili-sambal-who-knows sauce and crispy rice was top-notch"

Memory is unreliable. The folklore that I've spun has me declaring to a bowl "I DEEM THEE BOAT SAUCE" before the meal ended.  But apparently there were other things on my mind while on my boat trip, namely the beauty of the landscape, and the both the peacefulness and discomfort of being so very remote from civilization.   Boat Sauce does not reappear in my travel journal.  

Nearly three years to the date of creating this chili-sambal-who-knows sauce, I launched Bobbie's Boat Sauce at Providore in June of 2018.  My goal was to create a product that would "disrupt the ketchup industry" and become ubiquitous enough to be a brand and a common noun, like Kleenex or Xerox.   Maybe I should have called it Bobbie's Boat Saux?

Outcomes are unknowable.  Would I have launched a not-hot-sauce, not-ketchup company knowing that there would be a pandemic, supply chain failures, and soaring inflation in a few short years?  Well, yes, probably.  Because for me, the thrill of possibility is an addiction.  It gets me into trouble but also gets me to start great things.  

I am four years into into this voyage and can I admit that I had no idea what being four years into Bobbie's Boat Sauce would look like.  It's harder than I imagined.  It's often scary, exhausting, lonely, and demoralizing.  But not so much so that want to stop.  Now that I think about it, I am just getting started.