By Leslie Youngblood
Today's Tenacity Tales is sure to give your stomach some extra rumbles.
Matt Tidrow is a full-time firefighter and busy father of four. He's also the founder and creator of Just Add Tomatoes Pizza Sauce, packets of seasoning that help you create the tastiest slices ever.
He came up with the magic recipe by accident, when he was in a hurry making homemade pizza for the family and realized that they were out of sauce. A pinch of this, a little of that, and boom! The ultimate pizza sauce seasoning was born.
Check out more about Matt's unique entrepreneurship story below.
Matt Tidrow, creator and founder of Just Add Tomatoes, with some of his product.
What’s the obstacle that you’ve overcome that you’re most proud of?
Taking an idea/concept and making it a reality.
I knew that it would be challenging but I did not think it would be as difficult as it was. Maybe that was a good thing because I might not have attempted this if I knew all the hurdles that I have come across along the way.
But it is nice to see that so many people have enjoyed our season packets and the convenience it offers for busy families.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known then?
Limiting the name of the product to just “Pizza Sauce”. There are a lot of people that think that our season mix is just for pizza. This I realize now could not be further from the truth.
It's not just limited to making pizzas and could be easily used for countless other dishes as a flavor enhancer. I am still getting ideas from customers that have been very creative in utilizing the seasoning.
One that stands out was a suggestion by a customer to use it on buttered popcorn. She said that she uses it all the time when making popcorn because her husband loves it that way! It sounds weird, but it is very delicious!
All in all it may have been a better choice to call it Just Add Tomatoes Seasoning Mix.
Just Add Tomatoes Pizza Sauce Seasoning makes all your favorite pizza dishes even yummier.
What’s your best advice to other small business owners?
Develop a good business plan, refine it and revisit it at least two times a year or as needed.
It does not need to be set in stone and it can be somewhat flexible/dynamic because you learn more about potential customers and the industry that you are in as you continue to grow.
Also, find a local mentor that can help give advice with solving problems that seem impossible. And take advantage of the many programs provided by the state that are designed to help small businesses grow.
What’s a typical day like for you?
What is a typical day? It usually starts with getting all the kids ready for school and after that tackling a home project that has been on the to do list for a while, while trying not to get to distracted by the internet and social media.
We have four boys and that can be kind of crazy with all of their extra activities after school. Plus somewhere in there you have to make dinner and help them with their homework. So that does not leave much time to work on running and promoting the business.
This year is a little different because we have all four kids in school at the same time so that frees up the morning a bit more. I also work as a full time firefighter. Working 24 hour shifts can be bit challenging on the family and business's schedule too.
So finding time for day-to-day operations can be a bit challenging, to say the least!
Two of Matt's four sons, Andrew and Michael mix up some pizza sauce magic.
What’s next for Just Add Tomatoes?
We are working with a couple of school fundraisers and also developing our Food Service branch. We can supply restaurants, schools, and catering venues with a larger size of our seasoning mix.
And we are really excited about developing a shaker container so people at home will be able to get creative in their kitchen and enjoy our Just Add Tomatoes Signature Flavor by being able to add and adjust the amount of seasoning mix that they prefer. You can also add it to any commercial spaghetti sauce to take it to the next level. Plus, people will think you spent all day making it!
Want more from Matt and Just Add Tomatoes?
Visit the Just Add Tomatoes website and stock up on your own seasoning.
Follow Just Add Tomatoes on Facebook.