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Terence Ransom received help through FAPC for Ransom’s BBQ Sauce before the sauce became available in stores. (Photo by Bailey Lewis)

Bottles For Ransom

Friday, May 27, 2022

Media Contact: Jami Mattox | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-8061 | jami.mattox@okstate.edu

In December 2020, Terence W. Ransom found himself walking through the doors of the Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center looking to get assistance in product development for his business.

Ransom went to FAPC, which helps Oklahoma’s small processors and entrepreneurs with the scale-up and reformulation of products, to help grow his brand, he said.

As owner of Ransom’s BBQ in Yukon, Oklahoma, he wanted to reach all consumers so he rebranded his products as all natural, he said.

Now, in his second year of business, Ransom is growing his franchise, he said. His sauces can be found in 20-plus stores across Oklahoma.

Ransom has two sauces — original and spicy — which led him to using “your everything sauce” as his slogan, he said. Both can be used as a sauce, marinade, dip or salad dressing as well as a base for pasta sauce.

Once inside FAPC’s doors, Ransom met Andrea Graves, business planning and marketing specialist, who worked with Ransom to decide pricing and assist in making his labels compliant with food labeling laws.

Ransom had most of his business up and going, but lacked the final steps to get his product in the hands of consumers, he said.

“The startup of a new business is challenging,” Graves said. “I typically work with clients from start to finish, and he came in the middle of the process. I have such respect for people who start a business endeavor.”

The potential challenges for Ransom’s business include producing enough of his product on a larger scale with his family operation, not having enough help and finding time to be able to attend store demonstrations, he said.

“Over the next few years, I see myself being on a national level and in several states in restaurants and on tables,” Ransom said. “My goal is to be the talk of the town and Oklahoma’s preferred barbecue sauce as I expand into more stores and bigger markets.”

The growth of Ransom’s business has changed his family’s dynamic and daily schedule, he said.

“Terence puts 110% into anything he does,” said Karen Ransom, Terence Ransom’s wife and the business’s administrator. “We have to make time. Saturdays were days where we would spend a lot of family time, and since the business took off, he usually does markets on Saturdays, so we have had to change the way we do things.”

Throughout Terence Ransom’s workdays, he balances calls, develops drawings and infographics, works on info sheets, media management and marketing materials, and much more.

However, he still takes opportunities to call Graves to check in with her or to ask questions.

“She is like a sister to me,” Terence Ransom said. “We hit it off the first time we met and started this process. I admire Andrea’s honesty and respect her for giving me the choice of making all the decisions.”

Graves said in the mentorship they have built, Terence Ransom has trusted her, telling her the numbers and challenges he faces in the advancement of his business.

“He shares his wins and losses,” Graves said. “I really like that, and I am more willing to help him because of how hard he works on a daily basis to make his business successful.”

Terence Ransom said patience is critical as is sticking to your goals when starting up a new business. Staying on course in tough situations is key when faced with obstacles in product development, he added.

“The quote ‘Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed’ by Booker T. Washington is a quote I keep in mind during the hard spots,” Terence Ransom said. “You are going to have ups and downs, but once you start, keep plugging at it.”

The Ransoms have enjoyed watching the brand come to life, and what started in the family kitchen is now available online and in stores across Oklahoma, Karen Ransom said.

“I’m most proud of the success,” Karen Ransom said. “I didn’t expect the business to take off this fast, and for him it still isn’t fast enough.”


Story By: Bailey Lewis | Cowboy Journal

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