Our Story

72 Years Active Service

96 years wasn't quite enough time for Herbert Tanner to perfect his barbecue sauce. It was enough time to serve 72 years as a Volunteer Fire Chief and Methodist deacon, and dang sure long enough to become a great-grandfather. But tinkering with his vinegar-based sauce, developed over years in his kitchen in Hemingway, SC, was something he could just never stop doing.

Luckily his grandson, Ben Tanner, was paying attention to all of Herbert's recipe variations.

When he first started making his own sauce, Ben took the best bits and pieces of each of Herbert's ingredients and made it into something palatable.

The roots of open-fire barbecue are in the lowcountry of South Carolina, and while it might have been a 16th Century joint venture between the Spanish and Native Americans that produced the first known vinegar-based barbecue sauce, it's been refined and mass produced for hundreds of years now.

It's only recently been perfected with Herbert T's. It's the sauce that takes you back to Herbert's kitchen and the search for something ideal. Back to Ben's efforts to keep that legacy living. Back to the very roots of barbecue flavoring.

It's about time.

Mr. W. Herbert Tanner

W. Herbert Tanner is the inspiration of our "little bit of heat". He worked 72 years with the Hemingway volunteer fire department. Mr. Herbert managed to answer calls every time he came home on military leave and was considered a permanent member of the department because his chief knew one day soon Herbert would come home for good to serve out his life as a fireman. Eventually he became chief of the department. Mr. Herbert was known for the mark he left on the department forever. One story that remains a favorite is the tale of Mr. Herbert feuding with the police chief. It seems that Mr. Herbert always parked his pickup truck conspicuously in front of the fire station in a location that was marked in a yellow no parking area. The police chief frequently picked at Mr. Herbert for his disregard of the law, and on one occasion even wrote the chief a parking ticket. Not to be outdone, Mr. Herbert placed a sign affixed to the side of the fire station which settled the dispute once and for all. "Don't even think of parking here" still remains on the side of the department building to this day. Chief W. Herbert Tanner passed away at the age of 96 and his memory continues to live on for many.

We hope to preserve the legacy Mr. Herbert left behind and we'll think of him every time we open up another bottle of Herbert T's.