April 4, 2019
Caesar Sundays on sunny patios sparked a new business for Katie and Shaun Bassett. A friend made the best Caesars every time. They decided to bottle the recipe.
“We made the first batch of Lucky Speed Sauce in July 2018,” says Katie Bassett, who co-owns the company with Shaun Bassett. “It’s an easy way for everyone to make the best Caesar.”
The Caesar is a popular Canadian beverage, typically made with clamato juice, vodka, and a blend of savoury spices and seasonings. Garnished with any combination of celery, pepperoni sticks or pickles, Caesar’s are served in a salt-rimmed glass.
Lucky Speed Sauce is a pre-mixed sauce designed to add heat and flavour to Caesars and other recipes, without having to stock up on multiple spices and sauces.
According to Food Navigator USA, consumers gravitate towards short cuts that yield restaurant quality flavour. It is predicted that on-the-go consumers who want more quality time at home will gravitate toward high quality, ready-to-use products.
Lucky Speed Sauce is at the leading edge of that trend, and they’re not alone in Medicine Hat. Medicine Hat-made consumer packaged goods have carved out shelf space at major grocers and online in recent years.
In the BBQ aisle, Skinny’s Smokehouse began selling their home-made BBQ sauce in supermarket chains in the summer of 2016, while Ghostriders Smokehouse recently expanded distribution from 120 retailers to 1,200.
Medicine Hat Meat Traders’ beef jerky is available in more than 40 major Alberta grocery stores. In 2018, the local jerky maker’s Caesar Sticks garnished official Caesars at the 2018 Calgary Stampede.
Speaking of Caesars, Grit City Distillery produces a specialty vodka made just for the savoury indulgence, aptly named Caesar Vodka. The distillery opened their doors in July of 2018 and has recently expanded distribution to four liquor stores in the neighbouring city of Lethbridge.
For their part, Katie and Shaun found the perfect space to manufacture Lucky Speed Sauce and rimmer salt in a 1,000 square-foot bay in Ross Glen Business Park, a central location with a startup-friendly cost.
“Shaun and I have been entrepreneurs in the past and just wanted a change,” says Katie of their new venture. “We wanted something that was more fun than being a farmer or an occupational therapist.”
So far, Lucky Speed Sauce is available online and in a growing list of Medicine Hat retailers and pubs, plus restaurants in Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw. It can also be found in the local market circuit, which continues into the summer with the Market in the Park, Farmer’s Market at the Medicine Hat stampede grounds, and more.