Germantown: Secret Recipe Becomes A Business

Gladys Edwards frequently runs out to customers in their cars along her home on Wakefield St.
Gladys Edwards holds Wanda's sauce in front of her home on Wakefield Street.

It’s not barbecue sauce. It’s not steak sauce. It’s “Wanda’s All-In-One Sauce.” And it’s selling fast.

Wanda Dean grew up with her family on Wakefield Street in Germantown. When she attended parties and barbecues or entertained friends at home, she would often prepare a variety of dishes using her own secret sauce. It wasn’t long before she had a hit on her hands.

“People would always say, ‘Wanda cook us your sauce,'” Dean said.

Dean said she began cooking small amounts of the sauce for a crab dish. She would make the sauce at home, using an assortment of ingredients including ketchup, vinegar and hot sauce. She said the sauce can be used in just about any dish as a marinade, rub or glaze.

Dean said she would always serve her food using the sauce, and everyone began requesting the recipe. Dean said it was then that she realized the potential selling power of her cooking concoction.

“I thought to myself if other people can market their product, so can I,” Dean said.

From that day on, Dean began to perfect her creation.

“I just kept adding and adding, until I came up with this formulation,” Dean said.

Last year, after perfecting the recipe, Dean incorporated “Wanda’s All-In-One Sauce.” Her husband designed the packaging and the bottle, and she continued making her time-tested recipe from scratch in her own kitchen.

However, before incorporating her business, Dean moved to North Carolina after living in Germantown for 37 years. She realized she left behind some of the original advocates of her sauce and perhaps some major sales in the Germantown area. So she enlisted the help of her 80-year-old mother, Gladys Edwards, to market the brand and increase sales in the area.

Wanda Dean behind her display at a food convention in North Carolina.

And Edwards has been doing just that.

Edwards has dozens of bottles of her daughter’s sauce set up in her living room window for people to see. Sometimes folks even stop their car in front of Edwards’ door to buy the sauce. Edwards also landed a deal to sell the sauce at Wilson’s meat store on East Venago Street in Germantown.

“Wanda always loved food and cooking,” Edwards said. “People just love the sauce. It’s very good.”

Edwards is working on getting the product into more stores in the Philadelphia area, and Dean is also doing very well with the product in North Carolina. She has the product for sale in stores, and she even picked up a distinguished fan.

“The commissioner of Raleigh told me that he could taste the love in my sauce,” Dean said. “That really made me feel good.”

To date, Dean has sold several hundred units of the product, and she has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

“I would love my business to excel within the next two years,” Dean said. “My plans are to expand my business and to carry it out nationwide.”

Gladys Edwards frequently runs out to customers in their cars along her home on Wakefield Street.

Wanda’s sauce currently comes in 16 oz. and 44 oz. quantities. Customers can choose between mild and hot. In addition to the cooking sauce, Dean has plans for creating a dry rub and a sugar-free sauce.

“I love my recipe and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Dean said.

For more information, visit www.wandasallinonesauce.com