In 2018, Kyler Smith was first introduced to the seafood boil dish made popular in Louisiana. Today, his company, The Sauce Boiling Seafood Express (The Sauce BSE), has rapidly expanded to four locations, most recently in Gahanna this past October. The progression from idea concept to company formation took less than one year, when in 2019, The Sauce opened its first location in Cleveland.
“When I was doing my due diligence to determine a fourth location, everyone I spoke to told me to come to Gahanna. This is the best place to make my business work. It’s near Columbus, and it’s got all the key amenities and data indicators to guarantee success,” explained Smith.
Smith gained local notoriety as a young, Cleveland-area DJ who regularly encountered local celebrities. However, his family roots in the restaurant industry ultimately influenced his entrepreneurial path. This combination of family-oriented, community-driven support mixed with influential endorsements catapulted his brand to grow rapidly after The Sauce BSE formally launched.
“The seafood boil bowl is a top comfort food. I knew I could make it faster and less expensive than my competitors. That being said, my dishes sustain both flavor and heat – a must in the fast-food industry,” shared Smith.
The Sauce’s menu offers servings in bowls, bags, or pans. All bowls are infused with rice, corn, and potatoes along with a selection from six sauces. While seafood options include shrimp, mussels, crawfish, crab, and lobster, local meat lovers can choose from a trio of sausages – beef, turkey, or pork. The vegan bowl is made with portobello mushrooms, vegan sausage, and vegan sauce in addition to corn and potatoes.
“To be successful, you have to keep your brand in front of people’s faces by doing fun and creative things. Maybe that’s hosting a fun community event with bounce houses or partnering with a YouTube celebrity to promote your food. Either way, it’s all about making people feel good, which is why I also focus on aesthetics. There’s nothing better than enjoying a meal in a refreshing space that feeds your soul, too,” said Smith.
Customers won’t find fried foods at The Sauce, but Smith is looking to eventually add noodle-based meals to appeal to even more taste preferences. To learn more about The Sauce Boiling Seafood Express, visit their Gahanna location at 109 Hamilton Rd. or order online: thesaucebse.com