R.I.P. Craig Barton

I got some horrible news today from CaJohn Hard of the passing of one of the long time hot sauce makers Craig Barton this past Friday, May 14th. Craig was a big supporter of the chile show circuit. His absence at the Fiery Food Show was a bit of a surprise because he is always there, but it might have been due to health issues, but I am guessing. Either way, Craig was a man who loved his job and the making of hot sauce. Austin Spice Company has been operating since 1995 and has won over 100 national and regional awards. He will surely be missed by the ones that knew him and of course his family. Rest in peace Craig.

You can visit there website, and if you want to buy his hot sauce in support you can try, the company is still operating. Here is his link: http://www.austinspice.com/

I took this off their website, a message from their daughter Liz:

One Thing I Know
Monday, March 14, 2011 at 4:59PM

If there’s one thing I know today, it’s that I don’t know jack. Just when it seems like spring is coming it frosts, when it seems like you’re getting ahead more bills come, when it seems like the coals are steady and the candles are lit a gust of wind comes along and blows everything out. That’s where I find myself today: cold, broke, and in need of light.

We suffered a tragic, heartbreaking loss on Friday. Craig, our BBQ Pit Master, Founder, CEO, face of Austin Spice, husband, and father passed away. I can’t lie and say it’s going to be okay because right now it only feels like we’ll just barely make it.

Communication was always tricky with my dad & me; from a young age I remember not knowing how to talk with him. Both of us always had something to say and neither of us was ever as right as we wanted to be – but we made it work. I have a lot to learn about this business and I realize now that I took it for granted I’d have Dad to teach me. We’d talk, email, text, and likely holler a little but we always got it done and then Dad would be out at it the very next weekend gittin’ er done again. Austin Spice was his life and he appreciated all of you for your gratitude and support.

So here I am, the week of SXSW. We should be having the time of our life, in the city, meeting people and selling some of the best BBQ the city of Austin has to offer but instead I’m here, writing a blog entry I never dreamed of and getting lost in my own words.

So perhaps I do know jack. Perhaps I know that life is complicated with unexpected twists and turns at every corner and when you feel like all is lost, the ground is covered in frost, and your candle’s burned out, all you need is one match to start the fire.

I’ll work to be that match for my family, friends, and you, our valued customers. We’ve grown tremendously over the last 15+ years and we know you have too. If you have pictures or videos of Craig at shows or events I encourage you to send them to me: liz@austinspice.com. We’re putting together a website to remember Craig and I encourage you to take part. I’ll have more information posted soon.

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11 thoughts on “R.I.P. Craig Barton

  • March 15, 2011 at 12:42 am
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    Craig was an incredibly nice guy. He left us far too soon. He will be missed. 🙁

  • March 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm
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    I am really sorry to hear your news. I remember a couple years back he was here for our Weekend of Fire and was the nicest guy. I a so sorry for your loss. 🙁

  • March 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm
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    I never met Craig, but if he’s like any of the other people I’ve met in the hot and spicy world I’m sure he was a wonderful person. Sorry for your loss.

  • March 15, 2011 at 8:47 pm
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    Thank you, Al, for posting this. The love & support of our chilehead brethren has always been the backbone of our success. I’m not my dad, I lack his unique charm & charisma but I do know how much he loved his life & this community and I’m not willing to let either fade from our lives.

  • March 15, 2011 at 8:48 pm
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    I also see you mentioned ordering and yes, you’re welcome to continue ordering from the site or our store on Facebook.

  • March 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm
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    Liz, if you ever need anything, just let me know. Good luck with everything and my prayers go out to your family and yourself.

  • March 16, 2011 at 10:38 am
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    What sad news. Craig and I shared the same birthday date, often celebrated that with a beer, as it always happened to coincide with the Fiery Foods & BBQ Show. Without Craig, there will be a gap at the Fiery Foods Show. Wherever he is now, I hope he’s got a smoker and a nice brisket.

  • March 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm
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    We at the Texas Home and Garden family will miss Craig very much, super nice guy, always had a smile for everyone … Liz if you need anything let us know. We are so sorry for your Loss.

  • March 22, 2011 at 9:08 am
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    Craig is a major part of some of my favorite memories in this inductry. My deepest sympathies go out to his family. He will be greatly missed

  • October 27, 2011 at 10:43 am
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    My Best Friend & Brother.
    There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Graig.
    He was always there when I needed him, In My heart & Mind He still lives.
    I think We did it ALL. It was never boring & dull, Graig made sure of that.
    From California, All the way to Florida, We rode around & sold The Best Naturally Smoked Salsa Ever!

    Liz, I guess its Your turn to take it to the Next Level.
    Please feel free to contact Me anytime You wish.
    Rick

  • October 27, 2011 at 9:25 pm
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    Rick we grieve his loss with you. Thanks for sharing with us.

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