WAUKESHA - Pat's Rib Place in Waukesha is known for its barbecue. But during the pandemic, it's the sale of their sauces that's made the difference. Two of its sauces were recognized by Oprah's annual "My Favorite Things" list.
The sign out front reads "Best Ribs in Town" but inside...
Pat's Rib Place, Waukesha
"Our dining room has turned into shipping and manufacturing," said Alisha Hayes, owner and operator, Pat's Rib Place.
Not for meat but for sauce.
"We've been porking out a whole lot of sauce," said Hayes.
Two sauces to be exact. The restaurant's homemade Brown Brown and Pat's House Sauce.
Sauce jars are being shipped to Amazon for delivery to customers across the country after two of their sauces were chosen to be on Oprah's "My Favorite Things" list.
Pat's Ribs sauces
"We got a phone call at the beginning of October and our life has changed ever since. We have been very busy," said Hayes.
In the sauce laboratory, the jars are labeled, wrapped with a bow, and boxed up.
"We have a little system here. It took us about a week to kind of figure out how things should go but were like on point now," said Hayes.
So how did this family-owned restaurant in Waukesha get on Oprah's radar? It helps when she is family and has tasted the sauces herself.
"She happens to be my aunt, " said Hayes.
Despite the family connection, the support comes at a much needed time.
"I'm just happy that she chose this year to make us a part of it because it is a difficult year," said Hayes.
To keep their doors open and the sauce lab running...
"This is not your typical restaurant. We have a lot of wonderful customers, we have great relationships. This is a place where, if you're feeling bad throughout the day when you come into Pat's you are guaranteed to feel a lot better," said Hayes.