Pleasant's Best Sauces
Proudly made in northern Wisconsin since 2010
- ABOUT US -
"Play with your food, be creative, be bold, and try something new!"
Hi! We are Mike and Sharon Pleasant, the husband and wife team behind Pleasant's Best Sauces. Our barbecue sauce journey begins in the early 2000s when Mike was off of work due to an injury. At that time, his 3 children were all under the age of 10 and he needed something other than cartoons and plastic food served from the toy kitchen to keep him busy. That's when he started to experiment in the kitchen with what would become our original sauce, The Messy Stuff.
Mike has always loved food. Coming from an Italian immigrant family, his house growing up was always filled with love, laughter, and some of the tastiest food imaginable. Lots of spices, garlic, and fresh vegetables always filled his plate at dinner time. In 1992, when Mike and Sharon were married, he shared his love of food with his new wife. Rarely would Mike buy gifts, instead he would cook up one of his mom's secret recipes to show his love.
Between 1994 and 1998, Mike and Sharon welcomed 3 wonderful children into the family, Fortunette, Alexandra, and Brianna (Bree). Once again, the love of food was passed down and many family meals were shared.
Mike always knew exactly what flavor he wanted for his original barbecue sauce, but translating what he had in his mind into the pot on the stove left many batches of failed sauce. Finally, when he had perfected the flavor, and gotten all of his friends, family, and neighbors to try it, the original sauce, The Messy Stuff, was born!
The name The Messy Stuff came from the mouth of Fortunette, when she was about 4 years old. The family had gone out to eat at a buffet, and when Mike left the table to get more food, little Fortunette stood on her chair, and shouted across the busy restaurant, "HEY DAD! CAN YOU GET MORE OF THE MESSY STUFF?" That was in reference to the barbecue ribs that were available on the buffet. When Mike had perfected his sauce, the name The Messy Stuff was perfect, as it encapsulated everything he loved: his family and food.
After the local success of The Messy Stuff at fundraisers, pot lucks, and family barbecues, a few requests came in from friends and family asking for something a bit more spicy. Using the base of The Messy Stuff, tweaking a few things, and adding additional herbs and spices, Dragon's Kiss was born. A sweet, savory, and spicy companion to The Messy Stuff. It proved to be very popular as well, with many people saying that Mike and Sharon had a real shot at turning their sauces into a business.
After the popularity of the barbecue sauces, Mike started to experiment with other products, including our Baled Hay and Caponatina, one of which is a recipe passed down from Mike's family for over 100 years. Those were also well received by the local taste testers (aka friends and family) so they were added to the list of Pleasant's Best products.
It was in 2010 when Pleasant's Best Sauces was officially started. With the help of friends, the local community, and Barb Ingham at the University of Wisconsin Madison, we built a commercial kitchen, got our recipes approved, and began selling our sauces. Our original 4 recipes were The Messy Stuff, Dragon's Kiss, Grandma's Caponatina, and Baled Hay.
Since then, our selection of sauces, spices and jellies, as well as our passion for our products, has exploded. We now offer over 21 items available to purchase. Along the way, we have had major successes, including several of our products being selected as winners in numerous competitions. We have won multiple prizes at the Wisconsin State Fair, and we even have been partnered with Something Special From Wisconsin, an organization dedicated to sharing the best products Wisconsin has to offer.
"Thank you all so much for the support of our small business and our passion for food. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all of our loyal friends, family, and fans of our sauce!" - Mike and Sharon