Retail Spotlight: Kenney’s Sauce

Kenney's Sauce

If you know, you know! Kenney’s Sauce is a customer favorite and a Floyd Country Store staple. This best-selling sauce is great on burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and more! 

Kenney’s Sauce was invented by William Kenney, the owner of a handful of numerous drive-in burger restaurants in Virginia. His first restaurant, opened in 1958, was a franchise of Biff-Burger, an East Coast fast-food chain. It was located in downtown Roanoke, VA. The rest of his restaurants would be scattered throughout the state of Virginia, along the I-81 corridor. 

Though Kenney was originally a franchise owner for Biff-Burger, he put his entrepreneurial touch into his businesses. Kenney’s Biff-Burger restaurants were known for their delicious food and wonderful service. It didn’t take long for him to branch off from Biff-Burger and open “Kenney’s” restaurants under his name, where he served “Sauce Burgers” burgers with his secret Kenney’s Sauce. Kenney’s Sauce is a tomato-based sauce, similar to a barbeque sauce, but with Kenney’s signature blend of spices. 

Bill Kenney with Kenney's Sauce
Bill Kenney with Kenney’s Sauce

Kenney’s Sauce was originally a passion project. Kenney would make the sauce in large batches, to be served at his restaurants or immediately sold at fundraising events for Habitat for Humanity. The original sauce was not shelf-stable, so it could not be transported far from where it was made. However, after the word spread about Kenney’s delicious sauce, people across the East Coast wanted to get their hands on it.

In the 1960s, Kenney started making Kenney’s Sauce in a professional cannery, where it could be produced as a shelf-stable condiment for wide-scale distribution. It was first sold to stores under the name “Mr. Kenney’s Mild Barbeque Sauce.” As Kenney’s Sauce reached stores throughout the New River Valley and the Shenandoah Valley, it became a favorite for Virginians near and far. Soon, it reached supermarkets and chain stores such as Kroger. Keeping with Kenney’s soft spot for Habitat for Humanity, the sauce was also sold at official Habitat for Humanity stores.

Today, Kenney’s Sauce can be found in select stores across Virginia (including the Floyd Country Store!) and in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A portion of the proceeds from all Kenney’s Sauce sales goes to Habitat for Humanity.

Come to the Floyd Country Store and pick up a jar for yourself or buy it in our online shop.

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