Hi, my name’s Joe Shaw
and my wife, Carrie, and I created Flying Swine Seasonings. Here’s our story:
In 2012, I was going to school at Rend Lake College, in the heart of Southern Illinois. I grew up just 15 minutes away in the town of Benton and was raised on the barbecue varieties unlike any other. See, not many people know that Southern Illinois is the home of no particular style of barbecue at all. That’s not to say we don’t love barbecue, it’s to say that we are the center of the barbecue world. The late Mike Mills is proof of our barbecue heritage. In fact, the first ever 3-time Memphis in May World Champion all but proved how good our palettes truly were. Benton is just 35 short minutes away from the original 17th Street location. In fact, it wasn’t until I met Mike, his daughter Amy and his wonderful staff, that I knew what I wanted to do the rest of my life.
I say we are at the center of the barbecue world because we are 90 mins away from St. Louis’s famous sweet flavored ribs. Smack in the middle of KC’s molasses and tomato base, Memphis’ candied ribs, Alabama’s white sauce, Georgia’s onion sauce with peach wood smoke and the Carolina’s have the mustard and vinegar down pat. Look on a map and all points intersect at my backyard smoker.
I knew I wanted to make barbecue my full-time job (I mean, is anything you love doing and get paid for really a job?) but I didn’t know how. GOD had plans for us and some time later I’ll tell the story of how I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The night before we launched the business, a high school friend reached out to me to ask a few questions. I figured it was barbecue related because he asked me questions like this on occasion. The next morning, before our phone call, we launched and announced on Facebook that we were live. An hour later, my friend informed me that he was calling to see if I would help launch their sauces and rubs on Amazon. GOD’s perfect timing paid off again. We partnered up, got Flying Swine off the ground and have been going since that day. Now we may no longer be partners, but I am truly grateful to the friends that helped start all of this. We can’t thank them enough.
Years later, we are making 5 flavors (so far) and hundreds of thousands of people happy every year. It’s so amazing to get compliments from people I’ve never met, who made something amazing for family and friends. That fulfills one of my greatest goals and that was to make everyone, no matter the level you think you are, into a great backyard chef, pitmaster or cook. I know it’s not like being a nurse, police officer, firefighter or servicemember but I’m happy to have fed all of them in a way. Knowing what some of them go through every day and yet they take the time to compliment me… literally brings a tear to my eye. I am so grateful for this journey and to all the smiling faces that post a picture of what they accomplished or how happy they are using something we made. That’s what makes the struggles worth it. So from me, Carrie, Emileigh and Kyleigh Jo, we want to take this time to say thank you to everyone. You’ve inspired us to stay in the kitchen and keep making new and better creations just for you. GOD Bless everyone and thank you!
The Shaw’s and your Flying Swine Family