Starr Edwards is the charismatic entrepreneur behind San Diego’s Bitchin’ Sauce. A foodie at heart, she initially planned on pursuing a career as a personal chef. Then, with a young family to feed, she infused her fun, fresh flavors into a host of Bitchin’ Sauces. An immediate hit at the local farmers market, it wasn’t long before they made their way to grocery shelves. Always free of GMOs, gluten, soy, and preservatives, they’re a favorite for vegans and omnivores alike.
Recently, we caught up with Starr to learn more about her journey and hear her advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
01 Why did you start Bitchin’ Sauce?
In 2010, making ends meet was tough. My husband and I had a one-year-old, so we were exploring creative ways to provide for our little family. I was working as a personal chef’s assistant and dabbling with striking out on my own. In an attempt to get more clients, I decided to sample all of my offerings at the local farmers’ market.
People LOVED Bitchin’ Sauce. So, in a quick pivot, I transitioned my personal chef business into my own saucy enterprise.
02 What obstacles did you face along the way?
It feels like we faced every obstacle! Some were good learning experiences. Others ranged from silly nuisances to painfully unbearable challenges. In those cases, it’s good to have a selective memory — keeping only those that teach or provide entertainment.
03 What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I think this is the defining attribute of an entrepreneur. If the path was clear and the road was easy, everyone would do it.
04 What’s on the horizon for Bitchin’ Sauce?
Bitchin’ Sauce is spreading our saucy goodness nationwide! We have had an amazing launch pad in Southern California, with Bristol Farms being one of our first retailers. That support has allowed us to branch out east.
It is crazy to think some people are just trying Bitchin’ Sauce for the first time, telling their friends about it, and building the Bitchin’ buzz in their own communities. After ten years of saucin’, it is super cool to see that level of excitement.
05 How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?
For the longest time, the only way to balance work life and family life was to combine them. I was able to work with my husband and siblings — we also brought the kiddos along for good measure. It’s tough, because when you wear a number of hats, they tend to blur into one. Still, I think it was pivotal to our success. By building it together, our post-work discussions were never just asking, “How was your day?” Instead, they were always solution and progress oriented.
Being able to work and spend time with my kids was also a huge blessing. We started an on-site Bitchin’ daycare because I did not want our team to have to choose between providing for their families via income or their presence.