Junebug's Hallelu-jah! Sauce

Seattle, Washington

Junebug’s Hallelu-jah! Sauce was created in 1986 in the kitchen of Thompson's Point of View, a family-owned southern Creole restaurant formerly located in the heart of the Seattle's Central District for more than 20 years. Looking for a way to distinguish their dipping sauce, they combined the best herbs and spices used in Creole and deep-southern cooking and infused them with Asian spices to give their sauce a Pacific Northwest flair. Hallelu-jah! Sauce was first used to coat and dip crispy party wings; however, customers started asking for it on everything from poultry to seafood to vegetable dishes. This sweet, spicy and savory blend quickly became a delightful dipping, marinade and basting sauce and one of the restaurants most requested condiments.

 

After the closure of the family restaurant in 2011, customers started contacting Gail Thompson to get a copy of the Hallelu-jah! Sauce recipe and/or containers of sauce. She chose the latter, and for more than a year she made sauce and gave it to customers who asked for it. After an exhausting day of work, she returned home to relax and suddenly remembered she had promised several customers Hallelu-jah! Sauce for the holiday weekend. As she gathered enough energy to start making the sauce, she realized that she had a small customer base and she decided to start her business a few months later.

 

Now with a product and a small customer base, the next question was, what should she name her company. She knew she wished to honor her late husband — the inspiration behind the creation of Hallelu-jah! Sauce. After several weeks of writing and rejecting variations of his name, it came to mind that she should use his nickname. In the southern states, men with junior surnames are often referred to as ‘Junebug’; a name given to Carl by his favorite uncle. She felt that the name of Junebug was the perfect way to honor his memory. Hallelu-jah! has no religious connotation, the first customer we served our sauce to, jumped up from his table, yes, in the middle of the restaurant and shouted “Hallelujah!”, hence the name.

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