Jaymo’s Sauces Adapting to COVID-19
When Jamison Shefts was working as a telecommunications executive for 30 years out of college, he could never have imagined that his claim to fame would eventually be an all-purpose sauce. Yes, it isn’t just a normal barbecue sauce, Jaymo’s All Purpose goes great on meats, seafood, rice, eggs, as an ingredient, marinade etc. Going from a small local business to being sold nationally by stores such as Hy-Vee and Kroger, Jaymo’s Sauces has come a long way since its founding.
However, as with other businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that Jaymo’s Sauces operates. Shefts explained, “We used to be able to work directly with Hy-Vee and Kroger’s corporate teams and customers, as well as new retail outlets, but of course now we have to be indirect because of the pandemic.” Shefts continued, “this means less face to face and more indirect or broker/distributor presentations and sales”.
The main area of concern for Jaymo’s Sauces other than dealing indirectly with corporate teams is sampling. One of the biggest ways to sell their product in stores has been taken away due to COVID-19. “We want to be in front of customers and having them try our product, but it isn’t possible right now.”
Shefts mentioned how they work with brokers and were also picked up by KeHE, a national wholesale food distributor based in Naperville, Illinois. KeHE has put Jaymo’s sauces into their distribution center, informed their sales force of the unique attributes of the product, and quickly turning Jaymo’s reach from regional to national and eventually international.
Jaymo’s Sauces was picked by Hy-Vee's corporate dietitians team as their 2020 National Heart Health Month February Product Of The Month. Lead by a dietitian’s advice, Jaymo’s slightly lowered their sodium and sugar content, making it a wellness/better for you/dietitians pick product to go along with its great tasting profile. Jaymo’s is All Natural, No Preservatives, Gluten Free, Fat Free, Low Sodium and Reduced Sugars. Almost unheard of in the condiment section of your local grocery. That is grabbing consumers and retailers eyes.
With obtaining business counseling with the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center, at Bradley University, Jaymo’s had plans of exporting their product internationally before the pandemic. “People at the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are Fantastic! They are a great resource for small businesses as they have contacts in all sectors whether it is trade, banking, outsourcing services, business growth strategies and planning. They are a wonderful resource that should be explored by all small businesses.” Shefts is also still internationally optimistic during this pandemic, saying, “Canada like the U.S. is getting healthier as we go along. This trend is expected to only increase through and after this pandemic.” Jaymo’s also want to export to China. Shefts explained that international exporting will have to wait until things get back to normal. The pandemic has shown how certain businesses can falter under the weight of COVID-19, but Jaymo’s Sauces seems to have adjusted.