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Flamingo BBQ Co. Aims to Put Hialeah on the Sauce Map

Flamingo BBQ Co.'s Felix Reynoso sauces it up.
Flamingo BBQ Co.'s Felix Reynoso sauces it up. Photo courtesy of Felix Reynoso
Memphis, Kansas City, and...Hialeah?

If Hialeah native Felix Reynoso has his way, the South Florida municipality will soon be rising the ranks of barbecue hotspots all thanks to his company’s first line of sauces. Flamingo BBQ Co. began as a 2020 pandemic hobby with his wife and business partner, Gisselle, and has since evolved into a business venture.

After months of tweaking recipes, testing them at get-togethers with family and friends, and successfully hawking its wares at farmers' markets in Aventura and Miami Lakes, Flamingo BBQ Co. launched its online store last week.

“Hialeah is such an amazing city, and we finally found a way to give back to our community,” Felix Reynoso tells New Times. “Within our Cuban community, older folks have been cooking a certain way, not really applying a barbecue sauce to favorite dishes. And then we have a new generation of Latinx Americans taking the flavor helm and driving things forward. We really wanted to find a balance, something that brings a Hispanic flavor to barbecue sauces.”

Flamingo BBQ Co.’s first trio of sauces, priced at $9 per bottle, are the signature, smoky Flamingo OG, a datil pepper-loaded Burnin’ Bills sauce, and a sweet, apricot-infused offering. The sauces are bottled in St. Augustine and distributed out of Hialeah.

The Cuban flair comes courtesy of the Reynosos' parents.

“Our families played a big role in the creation of these sauces,”  Reynoso explains. “For example, during our research and development phase, it was clear my mom and mother-in-law liked the spicier side and the grandparents were more on the lemony side. Our first batch wasn’t great, trying to please everyone with one sauce. But ultimately, we were able to pick and pull from our influences and the feedback from our families was so important.”

Reynoso attributes the buzz surrounding Flamingo BBQ Co. mostly to its Instagram following and word of mouth. With an online store now live, he says the company hopes to launch two or three more sauces by the end of the year and, ultimately, scale up nationally.

“Particularly with Cuban Americans, we’re hoping to break the stigma of ‘barbecue sauce bad, and lemon and salt good,’” he says. “Hopefully it sticks. The way we’ve created our sauces and brand should really help the new generation of Cuban Americans feel good about adding our sauces to just about everything.”
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.