Clyde and Sherri Hutchison, creators of the Covington-based Backyard Safari, were named finalists in the UGA Taste of Georgia designation for Clyde’s white bean chili recipe.
“We are so proud to be recognized here in our own community,” Clyde Hutchison said. “People ask us, ‘How do we come up with such good recipes?’ I tell ‘em, I really don’t have a culinary degree, but I do have a PhD in good eating.”
Clyde Hutchison said he calls his chili his soon-to-be-famous white bean chili, and says that, “people, once they taste it, they normally agree with me.”
Clyde Hutchison has traveled a great deal. He’s eaten at some of the finest restaurants, but during his travels he realized that he missed the taste of home. Foods such as barbeque, chili, chicken salad or anything that gave him that taste of home, were the foods Clyde Hutchison was drawn to during his travels.
He once paid a man $10 for a bologna sandwich just because it was homemade and made with love. It tasted like home and that’s where Clyde Hutchison’s idea to start a spice line originated.
“We are Georgia people and we know the taste of Georgia. We try to design our products to be the taste of Georgia and we do fairly well here in Georgia,” Clyde Hutchison said. “We’ve discovered that people around the country like the taste too. People in Georgia like good tasting, homie foods. We offer that to them and they can make it in 30 minutes or less and have a meal that their family will enjoy.”
At Backyard Safari, all of the ingredients are bought in Georgia, as well as the supplies they use and the printing of their products. The Hutchison’s have been in business since 2010. They started Backyard Safari after retiring to their country estate and selling their chocolate factory in Conyers.
The couple grew bored and wanted to be more active. At the time Sherri Hutchison was infatuated with butterflies and she came out with a few products. Simultaneously, Clyde came out with a spice line called ‘safari seasonings’, an extension of something that began while the couple was running their chocolate factory.
The two decided to get back in the saddle and go into business. The name Backyard Safari encompassed a trait that represented both lines and it also resonated with them because their products were activities you could take and enjoy in your own backyard.
They started with a line of seasonings called matchbox seasonings that Clyde Hutchison says has started fires in backyards all over the country.
“The more people taste our products, the more they like it,” Clyde Hutchison said.
Still, both Sherri and Clyde Hutchison are always thrilled when people in the community buy their products. They have been in many contests, but it would mean the world to them if they won in Georgia and were able to represent their own community.