Sauce Startup A Fresh Take

The Mercury:

The next great business idea may be simmering on your stove. That was the case for Frank Barbalace and his business partner Steve Donze last year.

The two Italian men were enjoying some pasta topped with Barbalace’s grandmom’s special pasta sauce recipe one day when the lightbulb went on: This sauce is so good, people would buy it.

The hearty sauce teeming with lump crab meat, fresh tomatoes and savory spices was launched in May 2006 in a limited number of stores. The jarred sauce is now available in three varieties in more than 60 stores in seven states and Washington, D.C.

“We started on a shoestring budget,” Barbalace said.

They named their company Tip of the Boot, a reference to Barbalace’s family’s origins in Calabria, southern Italy. The company, which they market as a distributor of Grandmom Concetta’s Gourmet Seafood Sauces, is based in Paoli.

The partners are working on making the sauce available for purchase online through their Web site. The site contains a listing of all the stores where the sauce may be purchased, recipes and testimonials.

Photo by The Mercury.

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