Princess and Brownie Sims
Co-founders of The Final Sauce
Established: 2013 | Number of employees: 2
Website: www.finalsauce.com | Instagram: @thefinalsauce // Facebook: facebook.com/thefinalsauce
“Smooth and full-bodied, no matter your barbecue style or dish preference, The Final Sauce is sure to be the only sauce you’ll ever need. The Sims girls bring love and laughter to every batch of sauce.”
Why did the two of you decide to start The Final Sauce?
Brownie: It was after our mom passed. I had a lot of time on my hands to process life and to reflect on how I could leave a legacy of a legacy—how I could honor the memory of my parents and our Aunt Marion, who taught me how to barbecue. That was back in 2012, and that’s when I stopped just making it every now and then and really got serious.
When people would taste it or try it on anything, that would give me more ideas to play with. This sauce wasn’t just meant for barbecue—it could be used for anything. And pretty soon I learned that customers were taking it to other restaurants and asking for no sauce on their dishes so they could use ours. When I asked why, a lot of the reason was that it’s not too sweet and that it’s made with real ingredients. That’s when I knew I was sitting on something.
What’s your best piece of advice for entrepreneurs?
Brownie: Stay a student forever, and continue to play throughout the journey. When you stop being a student, your ego comes in. When I’ve gotten stuck or frustrated or just completely exhausted, approaching the work as play has helped so much—it’s allowed me to have empathy for myself. I’m on the internet and Pinterest learning new recipes, having fun—and this is what it’s about. If you don’t play, the thing you love just becomes another job.
What has been your most impactful interaction with ICA and why?
Princess: For me, the most important experience was learning about pitching and building a deck. It pushed me into the forefront, and I was afraid, but I did it. And when I step back and think about that, I have to give myself a pat on the back. This was all stuff I didn’t know before, coming from a background in brokerage operations.
Brownie: Working with ICA has been one of the best experiences in this journey called life. Once we understood what our roadmap was, we were able to walk into any room and have a conversation about any of our products. We were raised not to ask anyone for anything, but accepting that someone can come and say, “Hey, I see this in your business and you could change this with a little tweak”—that opens you up to bigger and better things.
How do you envision your business contributing to a more equitable small business ecosystem?
Brownie: We want to encourage entrepreneurship in the community with our journey, and we want to create jobs. Long term, that looks like us owning a kitchen with shared space and a co-packing facility. Because we’ve been there. You can waste a lot of money with facilities that only care about getting your product in a bottle.
We want to guide entrepreneurs and help them with branding and telling a story, and to help them understand how to get into the market. We want to be a safe place, and for people to feel like someone’s there for them.
Princess: We want to be able to welcome African American women and say “This is how you can do it.”