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2017 Wrap Up

Wrap Up 2017:

Welcome to year #5 for Above the Coals BBQ/Grill Seasonings! I’ve always enjoyed the yearly wrap up, so let’s dig in!

I think back to 2012/2013 when the conversation started about making my own seasoning and I NEVER in a million years would have believed that we’d be in year # 5 with revenues on the rise and the customer base expanding. Here is a current state of the union and where we are headed in 2018!


So many factors come into play when we decide what direction to go in with retail. The one major aspect that we see changing is….shipping. The USPS and ALL major carriers have raised their pricing on shipments that are overnight, ground, Priority or First Class. It doesn’t make us happy to say that we are going back to prices with shipping. Sorry. (But, I have a solution.)

My solution to continue to grow our business is to offer monthly incentives in different ways to offset the increase in shipping and to throw in a little “extra.” For instance, some months (and we’ll do something every month this year and see how it goes), we’ll do monthly coupon codes for a % off your entire order. Also, we’ll be throwing in some “extra” at above the retail price so you’ll make out better in the end. In addition, I want to put in some extra products on certain months. So, if you spend a certain amount, you’ll get (X) product free with your order. I know that as our company has grown, so have the quantities that customers are buying. With that said, I’ll be featuring “extra quantities” over and above what you order on some months! So, there may be a month that you order a pound of Classic and you get 1.5 pounds or more! I feel better knowing that the customers that we serve and will serve will be getting a superior value and service for your money!


Wow…there is a lot to be said here…But I won’t bore you. (It’s a wrap up, not a novel.)

The past year has seen a few new customers that have done great with our products in their retail delis, butcher shops and catering businesses. As of now, we are on our 3rd menu change at Taphouse 15 in Jefferson, NJ. They’re using our seasonings and craft mustards that we distribute to enhance their menu items. The feedback has been great and we’d love to be on more menus.  Meanwhile in Missouri, yes MO (you didn’t read that wrong), Above the Coals is on the menu at Mount Carmel Senior Living in O’Fallon, MO under Chef Mark Rodriguez. We’ve been working with them for almost a year at this point.

We want to thank all our partners who have chosen us to be on their menus and also on their shelves. We are very excited to see where our wholesale business goes in ’18.

If you want to bring in quality products that offer a nice margin and also a distributed line of  mustards, please email us via the “contact us” tab and let’s get some product in your stores!

New Products:

Yes, I’ve already started. I can’t say what it is, but the few people that have tried it locally say that it’s super tasty and has amazing flavors. Flavors that we haven’t used in the past. Also, it isn’t red…no paprika, no smoked paprika…nada…

Pepper powder is coming to the website soon. No ETA at this point, but it will be a web only product we are thinking.

Dried peppers will be available as well. We’ll be selling the same peppers that we grow, dehydrate and grind up to add to our blends. Again, a web only product. No ETA as well.

Sauce…no comment at this time.

Be on the look out via our Facebook, G+, Twitter and Instagram pages for updates on what we are doing as well as monthly offers and specials.

As we wrap up 2017 and head into 2018, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the loyal support of our customers (retail and wholesale). Thank you very much and may 2018 bring you peace and prosperity as well!

Chris and Beth

Where can you find us?

Pennington Quality Market 
Pennington, NJ

oKaysions Katering
Alpha, NJ

Mount Carmel Senior Living
O’Fallon, MO

Arctic Foods
Washington, NJ

Barry’s Appliance and TV
Bridgewater, NJ

Rath’s Deli
Stewartsville, NJ

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How busy are you?

So busy...


It seems as though we have been so busy in the past 3 weeks, that we fell off the face of the earth…Well, we didn’t. (Thank goodness for that!)

When you take all the projects that have to be done before the nice weather gets here in New Jersey…you do them in January and February! All projects that’ll help us get more production in the Spring!

We’re planting our peppers in about 65 days, so be on the look out for new creations from what’s going to be grown in 2017.

We have had so many things happen in the past month. Here’s the breakdown.

  • Above the Coals BBQ/Grill Seasonings will be on the menu at a trendy restaurant here in NJ in the coming week(s). (Name and location will be announced when we are on the menu)
  • All 3/5/7 oz. and 1/1.5/2# Food Pouches will have their own labels. (around 3/1)
  • We’ve completed the custom label for a May wedding (for favors)
  • We have a new seasoning coming out March 1st.!! (Very excited)

Yes! We are in the wedding favor business now! Love it! So, if you know someone that is getting married and needs favors…send em our way! Keep us busy!!

New labels should be here in about a month (we ordered a lot of labels for a lot of products!).

Local News:

Our friends at O’kaysions Katering in Alpha, NJ are selling our Above the Coals Signature Classic, Carolina, El Toro and Savina #7 in the Fresh Market as well as the line up of Pilsudski Mustards. We congratulate them on the year anniversary in their storefront in Alpha!

Amazon update:

After a lot of going back and forth and telling Amazon that we were going to leave the site, they catered a program to us that will allow us to continue to sell product there in the coming months. They indicated that the fees that will be taken out of any profits will be higher because the monthly fee won’t be charged, but a per unit charge will occur.  Although, we aren’t happy about more fees, we will continue to keep our products listed at Amazon for another 2 weeks – till (2/14/2017) at the $5 per shaker that it’s at now.  We appreciate the business over there and look forward to continueing to provide Fulfillment by Amazon going forward.


In case you were sleeping since Christmas, the Post Office raised it’s rates on shipments for Priority Mail…Crazy right? It felt like this just happened and it did…AGAIN!

So, we are toying with a flat rate shipping price that would cover all orders under $35 in product, and then shipping would be FREE…We are thinking of going this direction because most customers don’t order just one shaker…and the average sale is over $20.00….Tell us what you think!

Save while we are busy:

Coupon code for your entire order good from this posting date till Sunday 2/5 at 11:59 p.m.

“keepbusy17” is the code…

Cost of Ingredients:

Sometime in January we were in a conversation with some friends who said “Everything is costing more and prices are rising…” Well that was the beginning of what was about to happen last week. After a few calls to order ingredients for our seasonings, we were told by not one, but 2 manufacturers that they DON’T cater to the small business. Yep…you heard that right. They are in the volume business working with your big box stores and large market chains. Well, we aren’t part of their universe…So, in checking on the prices of ingredients I can tell you this…

  • Paprika has gone up $1/lb. in the last year.
  • Black Pepper has gone up $13.00/5 lb. container in the last year.
  • Granulated Garlic, Salt and Sugar have gone up over 20% in the past year.

You can see where we are going here…

Prices as of 4/1/17 are going up on the retail and wholesale sides. We aren’t happy about this, but to continue to make a great product we’ll be following suit and raising our prices just a little.

Thanks you for understanding!

Chris and Beth