Virginia Tech student launches sauce business to honor his Aunt Carol who died of cancer

Aunt Carol’s Sauce comes in spicy and mild

After his Aunt Carol passed away in 2018, Tahjere Lewis promised to make and sell her special, secret sauce once day.

BLACKSBURG, Va. – West End Market at Virginia Tech has signs promoting an upcoming collaboration between a young entrepreneur and the Executive Chef.

“I reached out to him, we had a conversation, we thought about boneless chicken and shrimp and it just felt unreal. And here we are in April, making it happen,” said Virginia Tech senior Tahjere Lewis.

Lewis contacted West End Market’s Executive Chef Scott Surratt about featuring his sauce in the dining hall.

Surratt was on board.

“I tasted it, it’s more along the lines of a cocktail sauce, but definitely has a lot more flavor. His spicy one was definitely my favorite one,” said Surratt.

Lewis’ company, Aunt Carol’s Sauce, offers two flavors: spicy and mild. He launched his business after he got to Blacksburg with some inspiration from his aunt.

“When I was going off to college, I wanted to know where I could get the sauce from and my aunt told me she makes the sauce. I was just so astonished she made it,” Lewis explained.

The story behind Lewis’ sauce makes it extra special. His Aunt Carol passed away from cancer. The sauce was her secret recipe. Lewis made a promise to her before her death in 2018 that he’d sell her signature sauce one day.

“My aunt didn’t believe me. I really didn’t believe myself. I didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship or how to start a business. But I knew I loved my aunt and I love her sauce. And I thought everyone else would love it,” he added.

“The biggest thing that wanted me to do the sauce and have him come in was just his passion for it, his story about his aunt,” said Surratt.

Aunt Carol’s Sauce will be available on boneless wings and shrimp at West End Market Wednesday, April 20th from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sauce with a story. Served up with the legacy of a loved one.

For more information about Aunt Carol’s Sauce, click here.

About the Author:

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.