Palmetto man rebounds from job loss to fulfill dream of creating his own line of barbecue sauces.

'E's Best Barbecue' sauces comes in two flavors.

Palmetto, Fla. -   
Like many on Memorial Day, Elmer Hilker enjoys spending time at the barbecue grill.

"It's my hobby, it's what I love," said Hilker.

Except Elmer doesn't need a national holiday to fire up the grill.

"It's part of who he is, he loves to grill and he started making his sauce," remarked his wife, Jan.

30 years later, Elmer's barbecue sauce is still a hit with family and friends.

"We did start giving some it away.  And then at Christmas time, we bottled it and gave it away as gifts; and that's when we kind of realized that we had something that people really liked," recalled Elmer.

After Elmer got laid off from his job at Raytheon. He came home and said to his wife Jan,
"Well I guess we'll just never do that barbecue sauce."

Jan replied, "If we don't do it now, we never will."

Soon, two flavors of  E's Best Barbecue sauces were born.

"If you don't do it, you'll never know.  I've never worked harder, or had more fun," smiled Elmer.

It was just about a year ago that E's Best Barbecue sauce made its retail debut on the shelves of the Palmetto Meat Shop.

"It was an amazing thing.  We said, ' We're on our way.'  How far it takes us, we don't know," Elmer said.

E's Best Barbecue sauce is now sold at 37 retail locations in Florida, Tennessee and North Carolina.  Though not driven by successes or competition, the future seems limitless for this couple that just wanted to take a chance on something together.

"When we entered into this, we already knew there was a glut on the barbecue sauce market.  that was not the whole point at all.  The whole point was to fulfill a life's dream to do it.  The fact that the public receives it and loves it is a bonus for us," explained Elmer.

Jan has seen a change in her husband.

"This is his heart, this is his love. We don't work a day in our lives now, we don't.  Because we're doing what we love," she said.

To try E's Best Barbecue Sauce, visit:

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