Fiber Joe Interviews Stretch from Grinders at the 27th Annual Fiery Foods Show

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STRETCH says, as far back as he can remember, he’s enjoyed food. His interest was daily, sometimes 2-3 times a day. He was addicted to this — it felt natural. Most people around him were doing it, so he said to himself, why not continue? Eating, along with the urge to create as he got older led to opening 2 restaurants, Grinders & Grinders West, and building sculpture for a living.

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2013 Houston Hot Sauce Festival: Fiber Joe interviews Stretch of Grinder’s Signature Sauces

The first time I got a chance to meet Stretch from Grinder’s was at the 2013 Fiery Food Show in Albq, NM. There was this dude walking the show with a backpack full of sauce strapped to his back, introducing himself to all the different vendors and sharing his sauces with as many people as he could. He put this bottle of “Death Sauce” on Cajohn’s counter for everyone to try. As I watched everyone walk away in tears gasping for air, I said to myself I’ve got to meet this dude. About 10 minutes later he walked up to me and my boys and said “Hey you guys want some sauce?” He proceeded to pull out a bottle of each one of his signature sauces and gave a bottle of each to me and each one of my boys. We got to talking and he told me if I was ever in Kansas City to stop by and check out his restaurant GRINDER’S and GRINDER’S WEST, which by chance are right next door to each other. So 6 months later when I was in Kansas City I did so. With specially brewed beers, specialty pizzas, specialty sandwiches, totally kick ass wings, and a most awesome staff I’m glad I did. If you are ever in Kansas City you need to check this dude out. You won’t be sorry.

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Buddah’s 2013 Ultimate Chilehead Roadtrip – Part 3

Stretch of Grinders

September 21, 2013 – the 2nd day of the Houston Hot Sauce Festival

The show having a start time of noon was a relaxing way to kick off a Sunday morning. I got up early and got me another cheap pair of footwear from Wal-Mart again. I found sandals that were only $8.50 after taxes. They weren’t too bad for cheapies. They survived the muddiest of areas at the event. I headed to the show thereafter and spent time talking to the vendors and seeing how the first day went. I think the consensus was that of surprise. It might’ve been the best Saturday the festival had ever seen. Before the event started the show announced their people’s choice winners as voted on by the public the day before. It was a celebration of a job well done. A pat on the back from the people you hope to please when you first started this business.

The clouds had disappeared, the sun was shining and bringing the heat. It wasn’t hot enough to dry up the mud, but the grounds were getting a wee bit more navigable. Yet, there were some seriously slippery patches that could drop you. I slipped on a few and it was a miracle that I kept my balance. At times it was like sliding on ice. I watched Fiber Joe interview a few people, took a pic with him and Stretch of Grinders as you can see below, and then found my way back to the boudin balls. I had ordered these yesterday, and they were pretty good. I wanted to make sure the Sauce Goddess got some, so I brought over them to her and settled back into the booth to get me more sales experience. I said in the last post that I enjoyed the pitch, and I think I did much better the second day as Jen schooled me a little bit on feeding the masses. It was fun when the sales were reflecting the “mmm” factor of the grazing from the masses. I respect how much vendors put out in product just in hopes they can wrestle some bills away from the samples. There is a lot of food that goes out free. It is like bait on a hook, and you hope your line gets tugged and you can reel in the reward. You don’t want to lose all your bait and bring home to fish.

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