DURHAM – Faison and Son BBQ Sauce Company began in the early 1940s when ‘Pop’ began crafting barbecue sauce for his family and friends.

By the 1960s, it was a full-blown business.  The sauces were manufactured in “an old white porcelain washing machine,” bottled and then labeled by “little hands on an assembly line of grandchildren.”

Those are the family’s recollections shared Pop’s great-grandson Michael Lloyd, who has launched his own company to carry on the family tradition.

Lloyd, a trained scientist, reformulated the secret recipe passed down four generations, to launch The Num Num Sauce Company, a healthy condiment startup headquartered in Durham.  Lloyd said the company is on a mission to improve the nutrient density of condiments, without compromising flavor.

The company’s products rely on technology, which Lloyd describes as “flavor capacitor flux algorithm technology that mimics sodium and fat flavors.”

His company, and its products, including a vegan sauce, are a nod to his family’s past.

“Fans have coined the sauce ‘The Taste of Southern Hospitality,’” said Lloyd. “So much in American society represents ‘Southern Black culture,’ including sauces, condiments, and food sciences.”

Lloyd was recently named as one of 12 fellows in Blavity.org’s first cohort of its Growth Fellowship, a six-month program awarding a $10,000 non-dilutive grant, free technology, and an assigned sponsor for the duration of the program.

With this fellowship, the startup will scale its operations and expand into other markets, Lloyd told WRAL TechWire.  The sauce can currently be found on shelves at Triangle Whole Foods locations or ordered online.

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“There are currently no nationally distributed Black-own condiment or BBQ sauce brand manufactured by BIPOC-owned and operated company in the US,” he said.  “Given that condiments and BBQ sauces represent Southern Black Culture, it is fitting that Num Num Sauce is on the path to be recognized.”

Lloyd, who earned a master’s of science in biomedical science from North Carolina Central University, started the company after getting laid off from his pharmaceutical job in 2008.

“After hearing my mom tell us childhood stories about how she and her four sisters formed an assembly line and would put labels on BBQ sauce bottles made by their grandfather, I asked my grandpa to train me on the family tradition,” he recalled.

His science background–including work to develop vaccines, then later working on food bioprocessing–helped reformulate and improve it.

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“Before Num Num Sauce was an option, condiments and sauces did not provide a health component,” Lloyd said.

“The technologies we’ve developed add substantial value and health benefits to processed tomatoes and condiment products. We’re looking forward to scaling,” said Lloyd.