This February, we’re highlighting black entrepreneurs from our IEE community to share more about their passion, drive, hard work, and continued efforts to realize their entrepreneurial visions with our wider regional audience.
Jamal Etienne-Harrigan is a familiar face with the IEE. He is a 2019 graduate of UCEP’s Community Power to Prosper program, competed (and got 2nd Place) in our recent UCEP Pitch Competition, and is currently enrolled in the 2021 Entrepreneurial Fellows Class. His work with the IEE is centered on his start up, The Smokey City’s 412 BBQ/Uncle Jammy’s Sauces, a venture 14 years in the making.
Etienne-Harrigan began concocting wing sauces in the back of a Red Lobster in State College, PA. Ten years later, bottles of his Uncle Jammy’s signature sauces and rubs made their way across the state and can now be found stocked on the shelves of certain Whole Foods and Giant Eagle Market District locations in the Pittsburgh area.
When the commonwealth of Pennsylvania shut down in March due to COVID-19, Etienne-Harrigan took matters into his own hands to make up the lost profit and expand his business’s outreach. He called nearly 65 Whole Foods stores throughout the mid-Atlantic and was successful in placing his product in about 25% of those. 2021 also brings opportunities for collaboration with Gemnote Inc, a corporate gifting firm, Pittsburgh Spice, Pittsburgh Pickle Co., and hopefully, Wegmans.
Etienne-Harrigan has no plans of slowing down and his ongoing commitment to local entrepreneurship programs are a testament to that. Involvement in Community Power to Prosper, Entrepreneurial Fellows Class, the Business Center at Carnegie Library, Paramount Co-op, and Riverside Center for Innovation are all factors in his success.
If you’re interested in trying any of Jamal’s The Smokey City’s 412 BBQ products, they can be ordered online at UncleJammys.com. You can also find them at Whole Foods (Wexford and South Hills), Tom Friday’s Meat Market (Brighton Heights), Olive Tap (Strip District) and, Janoski’s Farm (Clinton).