SMITH COLUMN: Katie Throne

Published 9:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2024

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When you meet Katie Throne and conclude that her story is worthy of wider circulation, you really don’t know where to start.  She is something of an entrepreneur and an all-around good person with a penchant for reading, writing, and cooking.

Staying occupied has become her lifestyle.  You would think she would be the aficionado of a double time routine, but she has a measured, even keel pace that supports her daily goals and objectives.

She has a real estate gig, she bottles her own barbecue sauces, she cooks for her friends and she can’t wait for the next food festival at an exciting venue such as Asheville or Charleston.

You might think she lapses into a one-armed-paper-hanger protocol when she is up in the morning managing her real estate portfolio—then moving into her afternoon assignment—cooking, packaging and shipping her sauces for forty stores in Georgia, two in Tennessee and one in Stockholm, Sweden which makes her an international business woman.

Her business, “Porky Goodness,” is an LLC.  She is Athens first female-owned barbecue sauce company.

She doesn’t function with a high-end advertising budget but is growing her business through word-of-mouth town criers.  While they may be few, they are energetic and passionate.  She is getting favorable results.

A down-home type from Augusta, Katie majored in English at the University of Georgia where she was a member of Phi Mu Sorority and was very popular on campus with her ability to coach anybody who was flummoxed by the writing of themes.   

When she finished at UGA, she worked for the Augusta Chronicle, finding that the opportunity to write was interesting, fulfilling and challenging.  In addition to writing, she is an avid reader.   Two of her favorite authors are Pat Conroy and Flannery O’Connor. 

“It was a very good experience for me with my time at the Chronicle, and I love Augusta, but wanted to return to Athens where I have so many friends.  Athens is such a special place.”

I’m sure you have heard that testimony before.

Her grandmother, who lived in Hazard, Kentucky was the one who influenced Katie’s love for the kitchen.  “Porky Goodness” began when her grandmother sent her a sauce in an old-time mason jar from her Bluegrass pantry. 

She began to develop her own recipe and after a lot of trial and error, it evolved into what she has on the market today.  She gave her sauce to her friends as gifts and it became such a big hit, she decided to find a way to bottle and sell it.  “My sauce has no preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup, which appeals to a lot of customers,” she says.

Following college, she began to spend more time in the kitchen and realized that she enjoyed cooking to the fullest.  Before long, neighbors would see her out by the grill and would hand over the backyard fence platters of chicken and Boston butts.

If she was going to cook for friends in the neighborhood, she wanted to “get it just right.”  That meant that she had to fine tune her barbecue sauce which she has done.   Now you know the rest of the story about her “Porky Goodness Sauce.”

Next, she decided to create a rub for the meats she was cooking for her friends.  A great fan of country music (Georgian Tricia Yearwood and Travis Tritt are her favorites), she has specialty “rubs” for anyone with a penchant for grilling out.

•For chicken, there is “Tanya Clucker.”

•For steak, she has “Flank Williams.”

•For pork, there is “Patsy Swine.”

•For seafood it is “Loretta Fin.”

Being an aficionado of Trisha Yearwood’s music, she is trying to come up with a rub for her favorite country artist but has not found anything she likes yet.  “The best I can do,” she smiles, is “Tricia yard bird.”

With the success she has enjoyed with her sauce, perhaps “Shark Tank,” should invite her to a taping in Culver City, Cal.