Print Friendly

Today we continue the countdown of the Most Influential People in BBQ with the 13th most influential person in BBQ. Coming in as the 13th Most Influential Person in BBQ is co-founder of Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce and owner of Sweet Baby Ray’s Restaurants, Dave Raymond.

Dave Raymond

Dave Raymond, better known to the world as Sweet Baby Ray, is the number one influencer in the world of BBQ Sauce. Sweet Baby Ray’s is far and away the best selling BBQ Sauce in America and can be found in millions of refrigerators around the world. Hundreds, if not thousands of start up BBQ sauce company’s, like ourselves, dream of one day being the household name that Sweet Baby Ray’s has become. The cool thing is a few of those start ups might reach that goal in large part to the generousness of Sweet Baby Ray. There are countless sauce entrepreneurs out there that Dave has sat down with to share his wit and wisdom about the sauce business. For those lucky enough to have had Dave’s mentorship it would be akin to Babe Ruth teaching you how to hit a home run. 

Sweet Baby

In addition to creating the world’s best selling BBQ Sauce Dave runs a chain of very successful Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue restaurants in Chicago. I can vouch from personal experience that there is some great BBQ being served day in and day out at Dave’s restaurants. In addition to sharing his knowledge of the sauce business, there are quite a few successful and up and coming BBQ restaurants out there that have benefited from Dave’s mentorship. It is clear that Dave’s influence in the sauce world has influenced the dinning habits of millions of Americans, but more important to Dave is how his influence has influenced the hundreds of people he’s been able to share his knowledge and wisdom with.

In addition to be generous with his time to fellow BBQ’ers, Dave is generous with his time in the community. He is co-founder of the Illinois BBQ Alliance, a group that raises money for and serves BBQ to folks in need in the community. There work has included feeding thousands of folks in need after natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes, including the recent tornadoes in Illinois. If you’d like to donate please click here

Dave’s influence on BBQ is vast and will continue to grow as he continues to pay it forward and ask those he helps to do the same when their time comes to pass their knowledge along to the next generation of BBQ’ers.

On December 20th we’ll unveil the 12th most influential person in BBQ. We’ll unveil a new member of our Most Influential Person in BBQ List each day through the end of the year and we’ll crown The Most Influential Person in BBQ on Tuesday, December 31st.

To date we’ve previously unveiled the 14th through the 25th Most Influential People in BBQ. 

14th – Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ

15th – Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ

16th – Sterling Ball, Big Poppa Smokers

17th – Rod Gray, Pellet Envy & Eat Barbecue

18th – Brad Orrison, The Shed

19th – Johnny Trigg, Smokin’ Triggers

20th – Danielle Dimovski, BBQ Crawl & Diva Q

21st – Bill Arnold, Blues Hog Barbecue Company

22nd – Competition BBQ Judge

23rd – Melissa Cookston, Memphis Barbecue Co. & Yazoo’s Delta Q

24th – Adam Perry Lang, Daisy May’s BBQ, Barbecoa & Cookbook Author

25th – Ronnie Cates, Smoke on the Water Productions

Will you make the list? Will someone you find deserving fall short of the top 25? Will you disagree with someone listed in the top 25? Check the Pork Barrel BBQ Blog daily now through December 31 and contribute to the discussion by adding comments to each days post!

Who is the most Influential Person in BBQ? Find out on December 31, 2013 when we reveal the Most Influential Person in BBQ.