Lindsay's brand is called Mr. Maurs (a mix of his middle name Maurice and the planet Mars, since Lindsay says his flavors are "out of this world"). There are eight types of sauce for $9.99 on Amazon: mild barbecue, original barbecue, hot barbecue, fire barbecue, chipotle, teriyaki, buffalo and pizza sauce.
Since first launching the products in 2016, Lindsay has sold over $17,500 worth of his sauces through Amazon, a local retail chain called Bartell Drugs and a contract with a Washington restaurant called Groovey Bites that uses his sauce on its dishes.
And even Jeff Bezos likes the sauce. "OK. Definitely want to buy a bottle of this…" Bezos tweeted before trying it.
"I had this unreal, 'I can't believe this feeling," Lindsay says of learning Bezos bought a bottle. "For little ole' me to have created something to have Mr. Amazon, the man himself, give recognition. Things like this don't happen. I'm just beyond blessed and humbled." (Amazon declined to comment.)
Barbecue in his DNA
Barbecue "was just in my DNA," says Lindsay, 33. He grew up watching his dad, who was a chef at a restaurant near their Riverside California home, barbecue for the family every Sunday. "That was his thing," Lindsay explains.
Perfecting his own recipe took almost eight months of trial and error. "It was just me sitting down doing security work, and in my down times thinking of recipes," Lindsay explains. "I'd write down like 15 different ingredients, and I'd go home, wake up, and the next morning I would just try it out.
"Certain ingredients I don't even like," he laughs. "Like horseradish? Horseradish on its own I think is borderline disgusting, but for some reason I was thinking, 'Horseradish would be good in barbecue sauce.'"
Horseradish made it in as an ingredient, along with everything from tomato paste and brown sugar to hoisin and raisins, Lindsay says. It creates a sauce he describes as "a blend of smoky, sweet and a level of spicey to your desire."
At first, Lindsay just started to bring the sauce to work to spice up his own lunch.
"I brought in a little 2- or 3-ounce Tupperware container," Lindsay says. As co-workers began to ask for a taste, "the word was going around that I make good barbecue sauce." In the summer of 2014, someone suggested that he bring it to a potluck for security personnel at Amazon.
"I had a 5-pound bowl of chicken wings," Lindsay remembers, and he sauced them with his signature barbecue recipe. "Within 10 minutes of that pot luck, the whole bowl was gone."