In less time than they imagined, the Cooley family’s Jeaux’s Boys’ Cajun Tailgate BBQ Sauce is becoming the talk of the town in Baton Rouge and beyond.
The sauce is now in more than 30 Louisiana stores and just got into the Mississippi market. Last month, the four brothers—Dallas, Dakota, Skye and Denver Cooley—estimated they bottled 900 jars of the versatile, vinegar-based, gluten-free sauce.
It’s an impressive mark for the self-described “sauce-slingers,” who started work on the business just a year and a half ago, and they already have their eyes on the future.
Skye, the youngest of the four brothers, says the team is hard at work on new products, including a hot sauce, and eyeing other markets.
While Skye helped out with the marketing and taste-testing aspects of the products, Dakota, the lone Baton Rougean, handled bookkeeping and refining the sauce recipe.
“We all have pretty hectic schedules,” Dakota says. “I literally work from 7 a.m.-5 p.m., then go home and do the company books till about 10 p.m. or go do a cooking demo. Our spare time has been cut drastically, but it’s worth it because we’re making this huge effort. We’re all country boys, sure, but we’re professionals. We have a driven mother who pushed us.”
The name and recipe comes from Jo Cooley, a single mother who raised all four brothers.
“Everything about our sauce is a tribute to our mother,” Dakota says.
Dallas, a Lake Charles resident, is the eldest and “the patriarch.” While his younger brothers know about technology and getting the word out through social media, Dallas says he focuses on the day-to-day business with co-packers and state departments.
“It’s a great blend of personalities,” Dallas says. “We’ve always been very close.”
But being a family business doesn’t come without its share of head butting.
“We’ve been this close to coming to blows,” Skye says, laughing. Dallas says drawing up the bottle’s label created the biggest battle.
Mostly, though, the family is all smiles, spending more time than ever on their new venture.
“We’ve come together as a family,” Skye says. “We’ve been seeing more of each other for months, and that hasn’t happened since grade school. We’re able to reconnect in a different way and be brothers as adults.”