by: Troy Herring
Jerrell Watson is hoping his homemade sauce finds its way into homes and businesses throughout the area.
Fewer things can add another dimension to food quite like a good sauce.
Depending on what you’re eating, it can be used to add an extra kick of tanginess to a steak, or it can be used as a sweet dip for french fries.
But whatever your sauce needs may be, there’s always one significant issue: Most sauces are meant with only a single dish in mind. This is where Edith’s Best owner Jerrell Watson is looking to help with his homemade Triple A Sauce — which stands for “Always Amazing with Anything.”
“The difference between my sauce and any other sauces out there is that I don’t market it as a hot sauce or barbecue sauce — I market it as an all purpose sauce, one that is a really good flavor-enhancer,” Watson said. “I want you to use it every time you sit at your dinner table.
“It’s not meant to overpower your food like hot sauce can, or be the kind of sauce with the mentality that, ‘Oh it’s barbecue, I’ll only pull it out when it’s time to pull the grill out,’” he said.
The bottle of Watson’s multi-use sauce states it can be used on just about everything — from vegetables to meats to fries — and the taste is one that features a quick burst of heat before transitioning into a sweet tangy flavor.
The taste alone is something that takes Watson back to his childhood home of Paxville, South Carolina, where he first found a passion for southern foods, particularly when it was made by his grandmother, Edith — the company’s namesake.
“Everybody feels that they are the favorite grandchild, and so I really used Edith’s Best as a play on words,” Watson said. “I always say to folks, ‘I know the rest of the grandkids are going to be mad at me … but I’m the favorite.’ I also remember what she instilled in me from our Southerner roots — to be the best you can be and put everything into what you do. Good things will happen, and that’s just like our food.”
If you take a minute and talk with Watson about food, he will tell you what any Southern worth his weight would — food is a foundation that can help bring people in a community together. There are fewer things in the world that bring folks to the table quite like food, Watson said, and it’s one of the biggest driving forces behind his work.
“For me, during the holidays, they would move from house to house to prepare a hog, and all the guys would travel around so there would be at least three or four, but they would be out there — we called it ‘telling lies’ — just telling those same stories they told a week ago, but putting a little extra into it,” Watson said. “It was a traditional thing and it was a coming together of sorts, and food was that one thing (that brought us together).”
Since launching Edith’s Best on Amazon in 2016, the man with a background in real estate has been selling his sauce in many local businesses throughout the Winter Park area — including popular spots like Park Avenue’s The Ancient Olive, which was the first store to feature his sauce.
Watson also has become a staple at the Winter Garden Farmer’s Market. He also plans to grow his market by selling to restaurants, as well.
Although the Triple A sauce is currently his only product, Watson doesn’t plan to just rest on his laurels and stop there. He has bigger plans for Edith’s Best brand, which includes the want to eventually open his own restaurant with dishes based on his southern upbringing, as well as dive into other different markets.
“My mission and overall goals for the company is that I want to be a producer of quality products, whatever those products may be,” Watson said. “I want Edith’s Best to become a beacon of inspiration … I want it to be something that people can count on, and I want them to feel like they are a part of my story.”