Tyler DeVos (right) along with his friend Michael Hanstad created Deadeye BBQ sauce, and now have been marketing it to grocery stores and supermarkets across Iowa.
(Le Mars) — A Le Mars native is now learning the business of marketing barbecue sauce. Tyler DeVos graduated from Le Mars Community in 2014. He attended Iowa State University and met a friend named Michael Hanstad. Together, they
attended business and marketing classes, and thought about being entrepenuers.
They were doing some brainstorming when the idea came to them about selling a barbecue sauce that was created by Tyler’s uncle.
That was the start of what has become known as “Dead-Eye” Barbecue Sauce. DeVos says after selling the product at various farmer’s markets, it was then time to introduce the product to grocery stores and supermarkets. DeVos says he and his
partner began with Fareway.
DeVos says he started with the one original flavor, but soon developed a second flavor with an added kick called “Magnum.”
The usual activity for college students on a Saturday morning would be to sleep late. However, DeVos says he and his business partner found themselves on Saturday mornings traveling from grocery store to grocery store offering samples of their barbecue sauce to consumers, in attempts to get the customer to
purchase the product.
DeVos says he has now been able to get his product in over 100 Fareway and HyVee stores across Iowa, and are now expanding into Target and Walmart stores, and into other states. DeVos knows the barbecue sauce business is competitive, and
obtaining store shelf space is a constant challenge. He describes his barbecue sauce as having an “Iowa Style” which has helped with their marketing of the product.
The young barbecue businessman has also developed and began marketing a meat rub to go along with his barbecue sauces.
DeVos says he is donating several bottles of his “Dead-Eye” BBQ sauce for the silent auction for the Bob and Deb Campbell benefit scheduled for Saturday.
Oh, and the name “Dead-Eye”, DeVos says there is an interesting story behind the name for the barbecue sauce.
photos courtesy of Deadeye Barbecue Company.