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Buy Local: Super Sauce Barbecue
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For Danny Ellis, a good barbecue sauce is all about balance, that perfect mix of flavors. He said his Super Sauce, the creation of 20 years of testing, strikes that balance just right.

"First you get a taste of a little sweet, then you taste a little burn, a little spicy, and then you taste the vinegar, the twangy part of it," Ellis said.

His friend Glen Malcom used to make a very spicy version of the sauce, but for Ellis and his wife the heat was a little overpowering. After testing out several versions, Ellis finally settled on a sauce that he and his wife loved.

"She told me that you have to taste the sweet before you taste the hot so that the hot doesn’t overpower the taste of the sauce," Ellis said.

Ellis said the barbecue business is tough, because there are so many competitors, but he said many of them aren’t good. He said the quality ingredients in his ketchup-based sauce make the difference, including brown sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, black pepper and crushed red pepper.

His sauce is sold at several places locally, for around $4 per 16 oz. bottle, and while that’s more expensive than other sauces, he said the price is worth it.

"You can get Sweet Baby Rays for $2 to $2.50, but a quality sauce you can’t get for no $2 a bottle. All you get in those is a little ketchup, sugar and hot sauce. Ours is a quality-made sauce, that costs me about $2.50 a bottle just to make," Ellis said.

The sauce is sold at Blackwell’s Grocery in Mansfield, Bell’s Discount Grocery, Henderson’s, Covington Produce, the E-Z Stop at the Marathon station between Walnut Grove and Loganville on Highway 81, Newborn Taxidermy and Deer Processing, Col Cobs Corn Maze, Ace Hardware in Social Circle and the Atlanta Farmer’s Market.

Ellis also sells sauce wholesale at his house, 1366 Gum Creek Road in Oxford, at $38 for a 12-pack case. He said he has only been selling the sauce for four months and is working on getting the sauce in several more stores. He’s also planning to sell the sauce to restaurants and caterers in the future.

He said he entered his sauce in the American Royal Barbecue contest in Kansas City, Mo., which he said is the toughest cooking and sauce contest in the country. Out of more than 65 entries in the tomato mild contest, Super Sauce took 16th place. His sauce was also a popular choice at this year’s Sherman’s Last Burning.

Ellis said his sauce is perfect for all ages, from kids to grandparents, because it has a little bit of spice. In the future, he is planning to have a milder sauce and a hot sauce.