Photo by Madoline Markham.
0812 Rob's Southern Gourmet SauceChelsea resident Robert Browning sells his Rob’s Southern Gourmet Sauce at the Valleydale Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
When Robert Browning first got married, he asked his wife what they were having for dinner one night.
“I’m having a Snickers and a Diet Coke,” she said. “I don’t know what you’re having.”
At that moment, Browning knew he wanted to learn how to cook.
Originally from New Orleans, he moved here in 1968 and now lives in Chelsea. It was his love for cooking and especially barbecue that inspired him to create a recipe for Rob’s Famous Gourmet Sauce, a tomato and vinegar-based barbecue sauce with a chipotle flavor.
“I started with a sauce and just kept tweaking ‘til I got it like I like it,” Browning said.
Browning decided to market his sauce after suggestions from friends and family.
“Everyone who tried it told me they wanted to see it in a bottle,” Browning said.
One day at his church, New Life Assembly of God in Westover, a friend came up to him and handed him a check to help get things started. Not long afterward, a person whom he didn’t know in the church came up to him and did the same thing. That’s when Browning started taking his friends seriously.
“I took it as a sign, and I really started going after it,” he said.
Browning started bottling and selling the sauce earlier this year. So far, he’s only been selling at Tannehill Trade Days at Tannehill State Park and Valleydale Farmers Market. However, he soon hopes to have the sauce available in retail markets.
The sauce tastes good on chicken and pork as well as for dipping your French fries, according to Browning. It’s not just for barbecue.
“It’s great for when you want something other than ketchup,” he said.
In the future, Browning would like to create more flavors of sauces including hot, sweet, island and original as well as spices and rubs for meat and vegetables.
For now, the original Rob’s Southern Gourmet Sauce is getting a great response.
“Everyone comes up to me and tells me that they love it,” Browning said.