Tim Lawhorn’s Story of the Road to Success
How Tim Lawhorn spiced up the American Dream
Every year, thousands of new food products are pitched to manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Few ever see the light of a cash register. We want to tell you about one that did and the man who believed in himself just enough to cause a seasoning sensation.
The product is Lawhorn’s Signature Seasonings, and the man is former executive chef Tim Lawhorn of Haines City, Fla. Tim’s story is one that will capture the interest of foodies, industry leaders and anyone who has always believed that a dream coupled with some very special ingredients can result in amazing success.
What began as a series of experiments to help reduce spice costs for the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hotel where Tim worked ended up revolutionizing the way people season their food.
Here’s how his story unfolds.
Tim learns about food in top establishments and creates an amazing seasoning blend
While Tim never had any entrepreneurial experience, he did have a passion for cooking. As a young man, he joined the apprenticeship program at Denver’s prestigious Brown Palace Hotel and The Denver Club, working full-time at both five-star facilities. He followed with a sous chef position with a four-star hotel chain in Denver and an executive chef placement with Specialty Restaurants, based in California.
Tim’s next position was executive chef at a prominent hotel chain in Fort Lauderdale. At the same time he began experimenting with unique seasoning formulas at home. When he thought he had one just right, he put it on a steak and cooked it. The flavor was so good, it was almost shocking.
Soon the seasoning blend began accenting virtually everything that came out of Tim’s kitchen, and hotel guests were wild about it. What really blew everyone away was that the seasoning tasted different on every type of food, significantly enhancing the natural flavor of meats, fish, vegetables, soups and more.
Lawhorn’s Signature Seasoning was born, though Tim wouldn’t realize it until a few years later, when a food industry executive told him to stop sitting on it and get it to the market.
“The best steak I’ve ever eaten”
In 2002, Tim and his family opened 2 restaurants in Central FL. The menus were eclectic, and his special seasoning was featured heavily in the majority of dishes. In 2006 at his steak and seafood location, Tim served a Hormel Foods executive what the executive called “the best steak I’ve ever eaten,” remarking, “I’ve never tasted anything like it in my life.”
That was all the encouragement Tim needed. With little marketing and merchandising experience but a belief that people will always flock to a product that delivers on its promise, Tim made it official. Lawhorn’s Signature Seasonings was ready to roll.
Tim was so sure his seasoning blend would be a hit, he began holding cooking demonstrations in grocery stores throughout Florida. The product: a kosher blend that’s all-natural, gluten-free, MSG-free and is about 70 percent lower in sodium than the majority of all-purpose seasonings on the market. Not surprisingly, everybody loved it.
Tim takes it on the road and into the right mouths
Without the hundreds of thousands of dollars to spearhead a full-scale marketing venture, Tim decided on the proactive approach: a grass-roots campaign and a Hit-the-Road Cooking Tour that would bring delicious foods, fresh-cooked and seasoned with his special blend, right into the mouths of buyers from the largest grocery store chains in the country.
The approach has worked, though the path was not charted or planned in anything close to a traditional way. Today, Lawhorn’s Signature Seasonings are on the shelves of thousands of Walmart Supercenters, Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Kroger and idependent grocery stores across the country. . Tim is determined to use his targeted marketing strategies to deliver his product to grocery store shelves all across America.
Tim Lawhorn is available for interviews for both print and broadcast media. If you’re looking for just the right feature story that focuses on belief, determination and an “average man’s” realization of the American Dream, Tim will be glad to tell you all about it.
(If you can’t find Lawhorn’s Signature Seasonings in your local grocery store and would like to experience the flavor, make sure to ask us to send you a sample!)