Southeast San Diego Native Wins “Gelson’s Local Discoveries” Search For New and Promising Products

Gelson’s, a pioneering California grocer, has announced a winner of its annual “Gelson’s Local Discoveries” search for new and promising products now sold in all 27 Gelson’s stores across Southern California. Let’s meet Antonio Mays and his winning entry, Scratch BBQ Sauce!

The winner out of hundreds

Out of hundreds of entries in dozens of categories ranging from bath and body to food and beverage, and household cleaning products, Southeast San Diego native, Antonio Mays, won over judges with his original Scratch BBQ Sauce recipe.

Online submissions for the third installment of Gelson’s search for new and innovative local products were open to local vendors within 50 miles of a Gelson’s store from November 1-14, 2021, followed by in-person finalist meetings in January 2022. Mays was notified of his selection this past spring. Until now, Scratch BBQ Sauce has only been available on-line and at events, farmer’s markets, and trade shows throughout California (from San Diego to Pleasanton).

“As a Gelson’s customer for many years, I am ecstatic to have been selected as this year’s winner,” said Antonio Mays, president of The Original Scratch Company. “Scratch BBQ Sauce was born from our desire to promote family bonding through shared meals and is a project that my whole family has poured our hearts into. Gelson’s is the grand stage for top quality products that are crafted with passion and pride, and I’m humbled for the opportunity to see our product on their shelves.”

How the story of Mays’ Scratch BBQ Sauce started

A labor of love originally created in Mays’ own home kitchen, Scratch BBQ Sauce was inspired by a passion for barbecue and ignited by a fierce familial entrepreneurial spirit. The story began with Mays doctoring store bought barbecue sauce brands with his own unique ingredients to enhance their flavors and textures.

After receiving countless compliments by friends and family members, Mays recognized the potential for a scratch-made barbecue sauce handcrafted with fresh ingredients and without unhealthy additives, colors, and preservatives. Scratch BBQ Sauce’s unique texture derived from real tomatoes and onions sets it apart from the competition.

Success stories thanks to Gelson’s Local Discoveries!

Mays’ brand, The Original Scratch Company, joins previous winners Santa Barbara-based Casa de Comer Salsa, Italia’s Pizza Kitchen, QURE Alkaline Water, and Sans Meal Bar, all of which have enjoyed notable success after being introduced to the attention of local consumers through prominent placement and promotion within the grocer’s Southern California locations. Over the years Gelson’s has also helped launch other San Diego brands including El Nopalito Salsa, Majestic Sprouted Hummus, Olli Salumaria, Bitchin’ Sauce, Boochcraft, Ballast Point, and more.

“We are continuously impressed by the up-and-coming brands founded in our own backyard of Southern California,” said John Bagan of Gelson’s. “This year’s pool of submissions was particularly innovative, and choosing a winner was a challenge. We are excited to add Scratch BBQ Sauce to our selection of more than 1,400 locally sourced products, and we are confident our customers will love it as much as we do.”

Congratulations, Antonio Mays, and to all past winners of Gelson’s Local Discoveries!

For more information about the winning Scratch BBQ Sauce, visit their website here and follow them on Facebook. To keep up to date with Gelson’s, check out their website here and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Tiktok.

See you there, San Diego!

The Latest