For Jimmy Hagood, Food for the Southern Soul™ isn’t just the name of his specialty food and catering business; it’s his way of life. Following his passion, Hagood has made an indelible mark on the lowcountry food scene. As a barbecue impresario and an advocate of coastal South Carolina’s unique culinary culture, he has brought national visibility to the art of barbecue cooking, and further elevated high-quality Southern pantry items.
Slow cooking began as a hobby for Hagood. An insurance advisor, he spent weekends basting pork shoulders infused with his special marinades and taste testing recipes. In March of 2002, Hagood took his food focus full-time. He traded his briefcase for a 30 ft long barbecue rig to launch his catering, specialty foods, and restaurant businesses.
Hagood’s natural talents were evident from the start – he simultaneously managed a full-scale catering and barbecue business, bottled his award-winning sauces and dry rubs and earned his pit master stripes in top national competitions. By 2004, Hagood’s BlackJack Barbecue Mustard Sauce had captured the taste buds of judges with a 5th place finish at the Memphis in May World BBQ Championship, along with 3 top five finishes in the pork shoulder category.
Further investing in the heritage of lowcountry fare, in 2005, Hagood moved to acquire and manufacture some of the south’s finest food brands. Many local companies were facing uncertain futures with no heirs to continue the families’ traditions. Hagood saw an opportunity to keep the authentic products on shelves and expand their reach beyond local farmer’s markets and roadside stands.
In June 2011, Hagood opened his first ‘Cue*Osk (think BBQ kiosk) in the revitalized Great Hall of the Historic Charleston City Market. Here traditional barbecue and sides plus beef jerky, pork rinds and all of his southern pantry items are sold 364 days a year.
Under Food for the Southern Soul™ , Hagood has combined all his talents in producing and distributing his Blackjack Barbecue and Charleston Favorites product lines. From his Shrimp Sauce and Dry Rubs to Stone-ground Grits, Charleston Gold Rice and Artichoke Relish, Hagood is keeping the tradition of soulful southern food alive in the Charleston City Market, in national retail outlets and online at FoodForTheSouthernSoul.com.