Since 2003 Tracy Steel has been creating sauce magic with Stable & Steel’s Black sauce.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
The sauce began after my mother-in-law and I both noticed that our preferred sauce at the time seemed to change flavour. This was well over 25 years ago now. So long ago in fact I think I had to go to the library to look up some recipes and to find out how to make it. Armed with my library card, off I went, and I found some recipes. It took some time trying out variations, but this is what we settled on and Black was born.
This company started after pressure from friends and family telling me my sauce was “that good” that I really should be selling it. I had an enormous amount of help from my lovely friend Kent Baddeley with the label design and introducing me to many people who are in the food industry. My other darling friend Anna financed me into it…who knew it would cost so much to get underway? But underway we were and then it was cold calling, ringing magazines to see if they would advertise this new product free of charge and just word of mouth.
What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
Stabler & Steel currently stock the regular 250ml bottle but now also have a 250ml gluten-free version. One day soon it would be good to add other products but with working full time and everything else going on, it’s about finding time really.
Black is a unique product, there really aren’t too many sauces like this out there.
Has there been any recent company news?
I entered the Artisan Awards competition last year and was delighted to be a Highly Commended – it was truly a wonderful thing. I am entering my gluten-free version this year.
As well as now stocking a gluten-free version I am going to be putting out a catering sized bottle for hoteliers, restaurants etc soon.
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
I would love to expand and sell Black right throughout New Zealand and maybe internationally.
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
You can buy Black from as far away as Waiheke Island and Wanaka and a few places in between like Havelock North, Taupo, Wellington, Blenheim, Plimmerton, and Petone. I continue to look for places to stock Black so that it’s convenient for people to buy in their own town. It is an ongoing process, but I would like to see it right throughout New Zealand.