The Story

It was the late 1930s and life was pretty tough on the old Orangeburg farm. They were building the Santee Lakes over near Eutawville and Holly Hill and there were a lot of workers in the area. That’s about the time that my grandfather, Papa Joe Bessinger, packed up his wife, Genora, and the kids still at home, and headed to Holly Hill, SC, where he traded a few cows for a café, and opened up Joe’s Café. It was also around this time that Joe came up with the recipe for this famous sauce.

It has been passed on for generations and remains a closely guarded family secret to this day. Joe’s became a major stopping point for travelers between Charleston and Columbia craving his great tasting pork barbecue and the addictive yellow sauce. Papa Joe would actually dig a pit in the ground and slow roast those pigs for hours over wood coals and then slather them with his new mustard barbecue sauce. Curb boys would come out to customers cars and take their orders and bring them their food. That surely has to be one of the first drive-in restaurants that I have ever heard of.

My Dad taught me how to make this sauce when I was just a teenager and it became my job to make it for the family restaurant. I would make it, gallon by gallon, in a big old 300 gallon stainless steel vat in the attic of the Piggie Park Drive-In on Rivers Ave. in North Charleston. I would smell like mustard for days and never could get a date all through high school.. I make it mostly for the fun of it these days. Versions of this sauce are bottled and sold by different family members throughout the state and beyond today. Some of these versions have been altered and enhanced a little over the years. Those cousins of mine just can’t seem to resist messing with the recipe, but make NO mistake…THIS is the ORIGINAL!!!  I’ve been making this sauce from home for several years now, however, professional production has begun!

Want to order some sauce? Click Here!

Now available in the following select grocers & specialty food stores throughout the Lowcountry!

  • Aunt Laurie’s (Gift Basket Company)
  • Bi-Lo
    • Edisto
    • Hilton Head
    • John’s Island
  • Blue Parrott
  • Boone Hall
  • Cahill’s Market
  • Carolina Cider Company
  • Carolina Gourmet @ Pawley’s
  • City of Charleston
    • Angel Oak
    • Charleston Visitor’s Center
  • Cotton Mill Exchange
  • Fields Farms
  • Island Meat Market
  • Palmetto Puddin
  • Pawley’s Pantry
  • Piggly Wiggly
    • N. Charleston
    • Moncks Corner
    • Hilton Head
    • Myrtle Beach
    • Surfside Beach
    • Columbia
  • Pluff Mud Mercantile
  • Refuel
    • Daniel Island
  • Tomlinson’s
    • Summerville
  • Tucks General Store
  • Walgreens
    • Downtown Charleston

For more information Contact Me!