Marian Davis' Sauce does more than flavor meats

Former Fort Worth resident, Eric Schneider, creates a mitzvah with every bottle of sauce sold.

By Deb Silverthorn

Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce is a Kosherfest award-honored marinade, approved by Star-K Kosher Certification. While this sauce graces the ribs, steaks, chicken parts and cholent recipes across the country and beyond, it also helps support the Seattle Kollel. "Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce is summertime. It's fun. It's a sauce that makes whatever you put it on happen," explained former Fort Worth resident Eric Schneider, who now calls Seattle home. "It's one product that has a ‘hello,' a ‘middle,' and a ‘finish.' It's made perfectly!"

From Fort Worth to Seattle, the trails of the taste of barbecue have broadened, thanks to the son of Dolores and Barry Schneider, and brother of Atlanta resident Myla Lind. Born in Turkey, where his father was serving in the U.S. Air Force, Schneider, a self-proclaimed Texas Rangers fan since 1981, is a graduate of Southwest High School and grew up attending services as both Congregation Beth Shalom and Congregation Ahavath Sholom.

Serving in Turkey during the late 1960s, Schneider's parents made friends, memories, and found the secret ingredients to what would mix mitzvah and
money-making. "Forty years ago the kitchen was ‘women's work,' and the men never spent much time there," said Dolores Schneider who, with her
husband, hosted a booth at Dallas' 18th Annual Kosher Chili Cookoff
last April. "Our friend Marian's sauce was so delicious and part our memory from Turkey is recalling how much we all enjoyed it." The Schneiders, and many of their service family friends, left Turkey with the recipe and for the
Schneider family, it remained the only barbecue sauce that was ever
served. When Eric asked his mom for the recipe for a party he was hosting, it was the just the start. "Different regions of the country offer different barbeque flavors," Schneider said. "Vinegarbased sauce is popular in the
Southeast, sweeter, ketchup-based sauce is big in Kansas City, and Texas has its own taste. Our sauce triangulates all of those different flavors, providing one flavor in one bottle that appeals to everybody.
One taste and you'll say ‘That's a good sauce!'"

That sentiment is echoed by Rooksie David, the wife of the Seattle Kollel's Rabbi Avraham David, who first befriended Schneider when he arrived in Seattle in the mid-1990s, and became his teacher, mentor and friend. "One taste is all it took, and not just for the adults, but for all nine of our children
and our guests," said David, who hosted a dinner in the Sukkah, and invited Schneider to join them, on the condition he brought "his" ribs. While the Kollel has taught Schneider more about Torah, he has shared his recipes for both barbecue sauce and for success in business. "I consider myself to be
quite the foodie and good cook, and I was really impressed. In the last few years, we learned about barbeque and Eric's learned more about Torah," David commented. It wasn't long after "love at first bite," that David and Schneider developed a way to work together to make a pledge of $250,000 to the Seattle Kollel. Schneider says he was asked about bottling the sauce many times prior to this one, but this cause and a plan that was about more than just selling the product was the most intriguing offer yet. "That is really the key to getting through the slow days," Schneider said. "Breaking into a market is challenging but having a good product leads to good reviews and an expanding market." An entrepreneur who does not believe in employees, Schneider works with select contractors and is personally involved in many aspects of the business. A small factory is contracted to produce the sauce. Rabbi David supervises the kosher process and Schneider is on the floor through the mixing process, testing each batch for consistency. "I love being on-site," he said. "When the aroma hits your nose
... oh yeah, that smell still always makes me want to crank up the barbecue and start grilling."

The sauce is shipped via FedEx, USPS or trucks for large palette orders.
"Working with small to medium- sized chain stores allows us to expand quicker while still serving all of our customers," Schneider said.
With sales in Seattle, as well as orders from Jerusalem, Alaska, Chicago and in-store sales in 19 states, Schneider said everyone wins. He commented that those involved with the barbecue sauce business have the ambition and
resources and are actively working to develop the customer base and distribution to meet the com company's goals. "Everything happens in Hashem's time as long as you work and are prepared when the opportunity is presented," added Schneider, a former physical therapist. "Every journey starts with one step and I believe we are one phone call, one order, from meeting every goal."

Schneider, is now an entrepreneur involved with a number of ventures. In addition to Marian Davis' sauce, he is successful in the Automatic Teller Machine business. "This has been my primary source of income and has led to many opportunities including the ability to branch out into new ventures," he said. "My companies are built on the same business principles including high-quality consumable product and service, repeat customers, and great customer service. As long as it is easy and there is consistency in product and service, I have you as a customer for life."

"May the hunger for knowledge be the only hunger for those who sojourn here," is the outlook Schneider shares, for those entering the Kollel's kitchen.
"You are given from Hashem, and I believe that in accordance with the talents and powers that have been entrusted to you, the better steward you are, and the more you have," said Schneider, who has studied Maimonides Eight Levels of Charity, as written in the Mishnah. "The halachic
side of me says if you give, and you continue to give, and do the right
thing, you will be rewarded. Some months are bigger than others."

"We are extremely proud of Eric," said his father, Barry who, after retiring from the U.S. Air Force, worked for 17 years with the Fort Worth ISD. He is the immediate past president of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, past commander of the Fort Worth post of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, a past board president of Congregation Beth Shalom, a member of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting, and B'nai B'rith‘s 2010 Fort Worth Jewish Person of the Year. "We as parents know
that we have taught him well and we see that through his decision to
support the Kollel, through ‘our' sauce." "It is in me to allow another to move forward is the best I can do, but still, at the heart of me, is a businessman," Schneider said. "Through Marian Davis', I'm able to make a living, and a mitzvah, at the same time!"

To order Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce, visit
For more information, email Eric Schneider at

The Secret Is In The Sauce

When Robert Allen and Victor Hansen wrote the book The One Minute Millionaire, they had no idea they would be affecting the financial future of a kollel in Seattle, Washington. "An enlightened millionaire is a person who always strives to be the best he can be, who knows no boundaries, and knows that there can be abundance for all … Their life is a life devoted to living and sharing abundance through service that allows them to give their unique gifts – for the benefit of themselves, their families, their communities and the world. The world is shifting. No longer will our society support the pursuit of money for money's sake. We are entering a time when we recognize that none of us exists in isolation. We invite you to step into this new world with us," writes Robert Allen. The authors expound on the idea of businesses – under the supervision of "enlightened millionaires" – tithing ten percent of profits to charity, and recommend a multiple income stream, including real estate, stocks, and product development for generating those millions. This is our answer! thought Mrs. Rooksie David after reading the book. Rooksie (she prefers the first name to the more formal "Rebbetzin David") is the wife of Rabbi Avraham David, head of the
Seattle Community Kollel. While Rabbi David has been supporting the Kollel's
budget through conventional fundraising and networking since 1995, his wife
has been constantly on the lookout for something that will finally put the Kollel on firm financial ground for good. The Kollel had recently incurred a huge expense aside from its regular budget. With Jewish outreach a prime goal, the Kollel sponsors a center and a rabbi in Victoria, British Columbia, a vacation paradise and one of Canada's most beautiful cities. The Seattle Kollel, a three-hour drive and ferry boat ride away, recently purchased a house, dug out the basement, and built Victoria's first kosher mikveh. But the project left them with a $225,000 debt that has to be
repaid. So Rooksie, ever willing to try new projects, put together a team of potential partners, including herself, a la Allen and Hansen's model. They pledged to donate the first $225,000 to the Kollel before taking their own profits. After that, the group would continue its business ventures, giving the Kollel ten percent off the top. With the "Millionaire" three-pronged approach in mind, the group began investigating business possibilities.
"We looked into real estate and stocks, but the economy had just gone south. Perhaps we could still implement Stage 3 – a product line. We just had to find a marketable product," says Rooksie. The inspiration came three years ago on Succos. The Davids befriended a businessman named Eric Schneider, who became their steady Rosh HaShanah guest for the last few years. "I guess Eric liked the food – he kept coming back – but he never missed an opportunity to tell me about this secret barbeque sauce recipe he had, better than anything I could imagine (or cook myself). To be honest, most of the ingredients in barbeque sauce are things I never even bring into my house – we buy at the organic market – but I finally gave in one Succos. ‘Okay, Eric,' I said, ‘Come to our succah. I'll buy the ribs, you make
the sauce.' The whole family was home; the boys from yeshivah, the girls from out-of- town high schools. We were all waiting expectantly. As a group, we're food snobs, not easily impressed. Eric walked into the succah bearing a platter of ribs slathered in sauce. We tasted them and were hooked. We even spooned up the sauce by itself. Wow! A light went off in my head: this could be our product!" Eric, who calls himself a "twice-a-year
Jew," is a businessman through and through. A self-styled urban cowboy with a Master's in physical therapy that he's seldom used, Eric had already made a fortune in marketing products that already existed. "The pot on the stove in my kitchen tastes great, but I can't put that pot on the supermarket shelves," Eric told Mishpacha. "And I never marketed a new product before." Still, when Rooksie approached him with the idea of bottling
the sauce, about her business group and the commitment to the Kollel, he was impressed. "The sauce is my hobby," says Eric. "But I never really thought about it as a business venture. Mrs. David, with her vision to turn it into a business, gave me the worst pitch I've ever heard – you finance it, you run the business, we'll use your sauce, and we'll take your money.
And I agreed." The group met with food chemists and contacted a packing plant, and enlisted the Star-K as their kashrus supervising agency. The product is called "Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce," has a picture of a mean-looking cowboy on the front label, and a quote from "Jeff" (presumably the
cowboy on the front) on the back, extolling his mom and her secret recipe. Initially the product was on the shelves in specialty stores around Washington. After winning an award for new products at last year's Kosherfest food festival in New York, the sauce got picked up by a New York kosher distributor and is now in stores on the East
Coast. Who is Marian Davis, and who is that "Jeff" character on the label?
"Marion Davis is a real person," Eric assures us. "She's an old family friend,
and they used to make this sauce together when they were both stationed in Turkey while their husbands were in the US Air Force. And Jeff? Well, he's a real person too, but not related to either of the ladies, and really has nothing to do with the sauce. He's my friend down in Enumclaw. He runs a bar and grill, and when he's not shaved, he looks pretty mean. ‘Jeff Davis' has a tough, patriotic ring to it, sort of reminds you of Jefferson Davis [who
served as president of the Confederate States during the American Civil War]. Anyway, Jeff knows nothing about the Kollel or even about Jews, but he's happy to have his picture on the bottle, and he's become a celebrity around there." Although the company is just about at the break-even point and hasn't seen a profit, Eric is convinced he's sitting on a winner. And how does this "twice-a-year Jew" feel about sitting on a business whose purpose is to support a Torah institution? "I'm 100 percent profit motivated," says Eric. "I give charity and make donations, but I never mix it with business.
If you have a product to sell that people need or want to buy, no one needs to know where the profits go. And if people know a charity is behind the business? This is very nice, but goodwill is not a way to sustain a business. I'm a fifty-five percent partner, and if I didn't think this was going to make me rich, I would never have gotten involved." Yet Rooksie sees Eric's soft side. "He's actually been very amenable to going through all the kashrus hoops with us – conferring with mashgichim, readjusting some ingredients (they took out anchovies, even though it was the thirty-somethingth ingredient, because of mixing with meat). I think the process is definitely bringing him along, and I always tell him that when he gets to Olam HaBa, he'll thank me." The kosher market – those who would be interested in patronizing the product as a charitable gesture – is just a small fraction of the barbeque sauce market. Most Jewish cooks just use the sauce on fligellach and in cholent. The big secular market is where the profits are. One woman (not Jewish) recently contacted Eric requesting that he pack up gallon containers of the sauce and send it to her wholesale. She needed it for a barbeque bash on Superbowl Sunday. Eric told her (a bit out of character for him), "You know, the sauce is funding community education in Seattle, and you're supporting that when you buy the sauce." She was so thankful; she had no idea but now she said she felt really good about buying it and serving it to her guests on their pork ribs. The people at the Seattle Kollel feel this business venture could be a financial model for community kollels around the country. They point to actor Paul Newman, who created a food production business that started off with salad dressings he would bottle and give to friends at holiday time. Today, Newman's Own Foundation
continues Paul Newman's commitment to donate all profits to charity. (Paul Newman passed away last fall.) Over $250 million has been given to thousands of charities since the company started in 1982. "We're not even talking about giving away all the profits," Rooksie David explains. "We're talking about tithing. This could definitely be a model for all charitable organizations, and especially for kollels. Look at Lakewood. There the wives are anyway out of the house all day, each doing her own thing. Wouldn't it be better if the kollel had a profitable business connected to it and the women all took on different operational tasks, in their own neighborhood?"

The Nibble-Great Food Finds

The slogan, "One taste and you'll say ‘That's a good sauce,' " is written across the top of the bottle. And the folks at Marian Davis are right: This is a good old-fashioned barbecue sauce done properly. There is a good amount of sweetness, which is offset by a nice vinegary twang. One taster thought there might be too much vinegar, but that was offset by a subtle smokiness at the end combined with hints of spice and black pepper.

In addition to chicken and beef, this sauce goes very well with pulled pork sandwich and ribs. The company also suggests it as a marinade or brush-on for fish.

While there's a cowboy on the label, the sauce is made and marketed by two rabbis' wives who live in Washington–and of course, it's certified kosher by Star-K.

Derrick's Barbecues & Grilling Blog: New Review: Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce

"One taste and you'll say, "That's a Good sauce"" is the motto written across the top of the bottle of Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce and you will probably agree. This is a good barbecue sauce. This is one of these sauces that claims to originate from an old family recipe. A quick look through the ingredient list shows you that this isn't a big corporate sauce, but a family recipe, a blending of household ingredients to make a barbecue sauce that works.

The Backstory:

From the label on the bottle of Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce you would think that this was the creation of some Southern Cowboy character. In fact this sauce is the made and marketed by two women up in Renton, WA. Of course that doesn't make it any less of a barbecue sauce. It does make it a kosher barbecue sauce. These two are a small business looking to make the most of a good barbecue sauce.

What's Inside:

When you look through the ingredients on a big companies barbecue sauce label you find a list of basic ingredients, many not found in you pantry. When you look at a homemade barbecue sauce's ingredients you find things like: brown sugar, chili sauce, ketchup, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, A-1 steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, mustard, and pepper. Of course on the label this sauce has to break each one of these down but you get the idea of how Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce was made.

All Around:

This sauce isn't too much of any one flavor so it works well with most anything. It has a thin consistency with an even texture so pouring on your burger like ketchup is a little messy, but mixing it up in some barbecue works perfectly. This sauce is good on beef, pork, and chicken especially good on grilled items. I would recommend it on grilled chicken, but suggest adding it towards the end of the cooking time because this sauce has a high sugar content (25 calories per tablespoon when sugar has 48 calories per tablespoon). Because of the traditional barbecue sauce flavor this sauce can be used on pretty much anything.

Rabbis' wives market BBQ sauce locally, and it's kosher

Some say, "My home is my temple." but on Thursday, April 29, Husky Deli could have said the same thing, as two rabbis' wives worked the lunch crowd there with a tasting of their new Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce.

Giti Fredman runs the Torah Learning Center, or TLC, a temple and school of Jewish learning for aduilt and children, with husband, Rabbi David Fredman, in the Admiral neighborhood. Rooksie David, who, with husband, Avraham, runs the Seward Park Kollel, also a Jewish learning center, and the "mother ship" of the TLC. Rooksie developed the product, and Giti helps her distribute it .

The first $225 thousand of profits goes to funding children's learning at the TLC and other Kollel affiliates.

In addition to Husky Deli, Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce is offered at the Admiral Pub, Spuds Fish & Chips on Alki, soon at the Morgan Junction Thriftway, and now at Swinery Meats, north of the Junction.

The Swinery? Is that kosher?

"Our sauce is kosher, but pork isn't," said Rooksie, whose nine children like the sauce on their scrambled eggs, and try to eat it directly out of the jar. "If I catch them, I throw in a vegetable," she said. She said her sauce is popular with beef ribs and chicken, in addition to pork ribs.

"Rooksie asked if I had any connections in the food business," recalled Giti. "I told her my father ran a hotel in New Jersery, and my mother is a good customer at Simon Kohn's Deli in St. Louis, where I made my first sale. Kenover Marketing just ordered two pallets from me. Each pallet is 110 cases."

Kenover distributes Gefen Foods, one of the biggest names in the kosher food industry.

"The hardest thing rabbi's have to do, I think, is fundraising, so why not marry business and philanthropy?" asked Eric Schneider, who helps with business, promotion, and distribution of the barbeque sauce. He believes Marian Davis' fills an untapped niche.

"Different regions of the country offer different barbeque flavors," he pointed out. "Vinegar-based sauce is popular in the Southeast, sweeter, catsup-based sauce is big in Kansas City, and Texas has its own taste. Our sauce triangulates all the different region's flavors providing one flavor in one bottle that appeals to every body."

"It tastes good and is a local product," said Ian Nichols, Husky Deli manager, who decided to stock the product with the blessing of owner, Jack Miller. "It has a good balance of sweetness and tanginess that makes this barbeque sauce delicious," said Nichols.

The Sauce Guy Welcomes Aqua Quip

You can now purchase Marian Davis' BBQ sauce at all 9 Aqua Quip locations in the greater Seattle metro area from Lakewood to Lynnwood. Visit Aqua Quip's website for locations and store hours. We are excited to have Aqua Quip as a retail location selling Marian Davis' BBQ Sauce. While visiting the store check out the hot tubs, grills and other products for the home and yard.

JM in the AM 91.1 fm 90.1 Radio Interview

Here is a radio interview if you missed it. (I could not imbed it to the site) so follow the following link or paste it into your browser and a pop up player with the audio will play.

New Distributor in New York City and Beyond!!

The Sauce Guy is proud to add Kenover Marketing of Brooklyn New York as a distributor for our East coast businesses. If you are a store in need of more Marian Davis' BBQ Sauce call Kenover. See the locations tab for their phone number.

Leah Shapiras Family Recipe

"The Secret's in the Sauce"

It all started with a phone call from an old acquaintance. Ever notice how all conversations eventually lead to food? This time the topic was barbecue sauce. Not just any BBQ sauce. Specifically the BBQ sauce called "Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce." This BBQ sauce is part of a fundraising project by the Seattle Kollel; a portion of the sauce's profits goes directly to the kollel. You help support a kollel – and the sauce is fantastic.

Apparently one of the regulars at the home of Rabbi Avraham David, head of the Seattle Kollel, always spoke about his secret sauce. Once the David family tasted Eric Schneider's sauce, they were hooked, and convinced him to bottle it. When I hear the words "secret sauce", I feel this need to crack the secret, and make it myself. I was sure that Mr. Schnieder wasn't
going to give me the BBQ sauce recipe, but I figured he must have other good sauce recipes. And he did. He shared with me a wonderful marinara sauce. I'm sure one day he'll decide to bottle it and then we'll all have the recipe.