The men behind 3 Taxi Guys BBQ Sauce — Rick Hewatt, Jamie Campolongo, and John Lazar — are literally three taxi guys. But thanks to a successful 2016, they’re becoming pretty established as a trio of BBQ guys, too.
“It started out as a goof, and we’ve made every mistake you can make, but we’re having fun in the sauce business,” Hewatt says.
Hewatt, Campolongo, and Lazar are the faces behind the 3 Taxi Guys BBQ sauce. Born out of a friendly competition between friends roughly eight years ago, their three signature barbeque sauces and meat rub are now in more than 200 grocery stores, with plans to expand even further in 2017.
Of course, these friends started as peers in the transportation industry. Hewatt’s family has been in the taxi industry for three generations in Atlanta. He’s the president of Atlanta Checker Cab and a former president of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA). Campolongo is the president of Pittsburgh Transportation Group and a former president of TLPA. Lazar owns Luxor Cab in San Francisco and is a director on the association’s board.
Their venture into the barbeque world started at a TLPA meeting in Napa Valley some eight years ago. Ribs and a pork shoulder were on the menu for a cookout, and Hewatt, Campolongo, and Lazar each offered to whip up the barbeque sauce. Instead, they settled for a little friendly competition to decide whose sauce was best.
And the verdict? A draw. It became a sort of inside joke for the trio that they could start a sauce company and name it 3 Taxi Guys. That quickly became a reality.
The Three Taxi Guys joined the National Barbeque Association (NBA), as a place to start. They've competed against some of the biggest names in barbeque and accumulated more than 20 awards through the NBA, including a second-place finish at the invitation-only World Championship in Memphis.
They’re now carrying four products, the Tijuana Taxi Sauce, Sweet and Sassy sauce, Budda Bing wing sauce, and a red rub. Their products were initially sold online and now, you can find their sauces in Giant Eagle grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, with plans to expand into more grocery chains this year.
Are you hungry from some barbeque? Well, now we are. You can check out their products here.