|Marion & Linda Simmons Jr.
First Blacks to Locally Produce
and Market Barbecue Sauce Tell
|Marion "Bubble" and Linda
Simmons, Jr Inventors and
Proprietors of "Bubble's Q Sauce" -
this is their story. "Our Vision From
For many years, God had given me
this vision to sell my husband
Marion's Ribs and BBQ Sauce. I
would always say "One day we're
going to sell your ribs and bottle your
BBQ Sauce. "He would just look at
me and laugh. So in 1996, this one
sales representative from Amway, was
really pressuring me to join their
organization and sell their products.
He was so persistent that he wouldn't
take no for an answer. He said he was
going to call me back later in the
I prayed about it and the Lord said,
"When he calls back, tell him that
we're going to establish our own
business." The next morning when I
woke up, I told my husband that the
Lord said for us to establish our own
business. He just laughed and said :
"The next time the Lord tells you
something that concerns me and work
for me, wake me up so I can talk to
him." "I believe it was that Thursday
when the sales rep called back. I told
him that I can't join his company
because my husband and I are going
to establish our own business, selling
Ribs and his BBQ Sauce. He was
really surprised and wished us well."
A couple of weeks later, I was at work
sitting at my desk and I heard on the
radio that the new YMCA on William
Street was looking for vendors to sell
their products for some event. I
immediately called "Bubble" at home
and told him about it. After
convincing him that this is the vision
that God gave me and that this will
be a great opportunity to introduce to
the public his ribs and BBQ Sauce.
He said, "Linda, I'm going to go
along with this and I'll see if God
really told you this." So I called and
We prepared the ribs and we went
and brought Mason Jars, boiled them
and bottled the BBQ Sauce. It was a
lot of work. The day of the event
before we could set up, people were
coming up and saw what we were
selling and they started getting in line
before we were ready. Within 2 hours,
"Bubble" said it was 3 hours-we were
sold out. He was so happy and
excited. When we left, he went
straight and brought more Ribs and
Mason Jars. He finally saw the vision
and the rest is history.
|BUBBLE'S Q SAUCE
|I definitely "Thank God" for my wife
constantly reminding me, during the high
and lows of finally getting the BBQ Sauce
on the market that "God said it will be." I
also had the vision a few years after she was
given it. Then, I finally believed. I was
hesitant because there's only 24 hours in a
day, and I was already working a full time
job, including over time, a part-time job.
Plus my duties at my church and my hobby
of preparing ribs and sauce, I just couldn't
see the time or effort to put the sauce on
the market. But God worked it out.
We originally began as "Bubba's Ribs and
Bubba Q Sauce" and after learning more
about the business, we had to go with my
real nickname of "Bubble" because the
name "Bubba" you'll find that on products
in every city. For many years we gave away
free samples of our ribs and sauce to
family, friends and co-workers. We would
always ask for their feed back to help us
critique our product to where it is today.
We can not forget all the fund raisers we
did at the Young Tabernacle Holiness
Church, at the corner of Best and Herman
Street in Buffalo, especially during
Juneteenth. That was truly a blessing. We
would like to thank all of our supporters.
On May 25, 2006 our BBQ Sauce, which is
called, "Bubble's Q Sauce" went on the
We have on our label, a special tribute to
my dad, Pastor Marion C. Simmons Sr,
who was with us from the beginning, with
trips of promoting this product in
Alabama, South Carolina and Ohio.
Although he went on to glory on October
21, 2003, we believe that when we all get to
glory, God is going to allow us to sit down
with dad and talk a little bit about the
After much research, we believe we are the
first Black Buffalonian Entrepreneurs to
have the BBQ Sauce manufactured and
marketed in Buffalo. We owe it all to God.
We also couldn't have done this without the
support of our three sons: Shannon, Brian
My wife and I worship at the Word Of Life
Ministries, 1941 Hyde Park Avenue, in
Niagara Falls, New York, under the
dynamic leadership of Senior Pastor the
Rev Jesse J. Scott, and First Lady, the Rev
Joanne Scott. They have been a
tremendous blessing to us.
Marion & Linda Simmons Jr.
|Bubble’s Q Sauce
"It’s Not Just for Summer Grilling; it’s also Good for Winter Chilling"
BUFFALO, NY – Bubble’s Q Sauce owners Marion and Linda Simmons might just have
the best slogan for extending their brand and living the American dream. With over 25
years of experience cooking their favorite barbeque dishes and sauce, the couple now
markets in over 80 stores throughout western New York.
For many years, Linda Simmons had a vision from God telling her to start a small
business and sell Marion’s ribs and BBQ sauce. It was during her search that she came
across a business exposition looking for vendors to sell their products. “We attended and
before we knew it, less than three hours into the expo, we were sold out of our sauce,”
Linda recalled. “After testing the market for 10-years, I guess we were on to doing
As their initial success continued, when it came to expanding their product the Simmons
needed help. They found the assistance they needed at the annual U.S. Small Business
Administration’s Straight Talk conference, where the contacts and training they received
helped them successfully structure their business plan and gain the advice that would be
essential to marketing their product.
“We attended the seminars and met with John McKeone, business advisor at the Buffalo
State College’s Small Business Development Center. John supplied us with the necessary
resources and contacts to shift our business from a concept to reality, Marion said.
“Definitely show up at Straight Talk; finding the right network of resources can help your
product business in a big way.”
With Bubble’s Q Sauce attracting more attention locally, Marion and Linda needed to
take another look at marketing their product during the off season. ”As sales began to
slow down, we recognized our competition and realized that we had a seasonal product,”
recalled Linda. “Fortunately, we had John and the Small Business Development Center –
our business advisor who provided assistance at no charge.”
Working with John, Linda came up with a vision that would inspire customers and others
to see their product in a new light. “It’s Not Just for Summer Grilling; it’s also Good for
Winter Chilling!” would become the new Bubble’s Q Sauce slogan that would signify the
company’s approach to barbequing during every season of the year. “Americans love their
barbeques and any good barbeque starts with the sauce,” said Marion.
Marion and Linda stay in touch with John and will forever be grateful. “We can’t say
enough about him or Straight Talk.”
Straight Talk 2012 is the 17th annual presentation of this program which over the years
has attracted thousands of participants. The upcoming half-day seminar will be held on
Saturday, January 26, 2013. Available seminars include: “Show Me the Money”,
“Business Basics”, “Make Yourself Credit Worthy”,
“Accessing Business Opportunities through SBA 8(a), DBE and MWBE Certification”,
“Business Assistance for Veterans”, “Navigating Your Business through Taxes &
Permits”, “We Did It! You Can Too!” and “Marketing Your Small Business".
“I am convinced that this conference gives entrepreneurs essential tools needed to achieve
small business success,” said SBA Buffalo District Director Franklin Sciortino.
To learn more about Straight Talk, please visit our SBA website at www.sba.
gov/ny/buffalo or call us at (716) 551-4301.
|SBA SUCCESS STORY