Croix Valley Steak Sauces makes a splash at show
Customers of the Timberidge Roadhouse had been asking if they could buy the distinctive steak sauce for years. Last fall, Damon Holter decided to give the customers what they asked for.
In 1996, when Holter's parents opened the north woods steakhouse, he created a distinctive sauce that for over the next decade was in demand for its rich flavor and full body.
Last August, Holter, who grew up in Afton and currently lives in Hudson, decided it was time to begin marketing the sauce in earnest. In order to do that, Holter took a course in Madison, went through the proper testing, licensing and application process.
"I just went full out," said Holter. "We did shelve life studies, and the recipes were approved, as was the kitchen."
"We had been producing the sauce for years so it wasn't hard to make a consistent product and develop the recipes," said Holter. "After I decided to produce the original, I developed the Hot and Spicy and the Garlic Herb recipes."
By November of 2009, Croix Valley Steak Sauces was launched for sale, first at the Timberidge Roadhouse, where they originated and are now produced.
"I hand craft each one in small batches," said Holter. "It is pretty much produced to the order."
He is not shy about his goals. "I want to be the self-proclaimed king of steak sauce," said Holter, who is on a mission to not only sell the three varieties of Croix Valley Steak Sauce but also share recipes that highlight the sauces' versatility. They can replace barbecue sauce, traditional pizza sauces and, when used as marinades, give everything from portobello mushrooms to chicken a new zest.
Holter estimates that over 4,000 people had the chance to taste his Croix Valley Steak Sauce during the recent Minnesota Food and Wine Show.
"The response was overwhelming," said Holter. "It was a fabulous experience."
Locally the sauces are available at RJ's Meats and Grocery, Brine's Market and online at www.croixvalleysteaksauce.com. For more information, call (612) 756-4985.