Saucy alumni


Hanstad and Devos show the Deadeye BBQ sauce. The business was founded by the two when they were freshmen.

Kyle Deutsch, Staff Writer

In the freshmen dorms at Iowa State University, two college students met up during a class they had together. One of which, Johnston alumni Michael Hanstad ’13, has since formed a business making and selling barbeque sauce, called Deadeye Premium BBQ. He, along with friend Tyler Devos, started the sauce company during his freshmen year in college and is still currently in there. The business boomed when they went to their first farmer’s market.

“Our business helped get its first big sale from an entrepreneurship¬†professor who met up with us at class,” Hanstad said. “He answered any questions we had right away, and he pushed us forward to achieve their goals. If we had an issue, we go to him and ask for help.”

The sauce was first showcased at a local farmer’s market with spoonfuls of sauce for samples. On that day, they sold about 20 sauces. Hanstad was first put in contact with the Fareway in Marshalltown, and since then The sauce is now available in many Iowa Fareways, including the one in Johnston. “I didn’t know what I was doing and had I bought a couple of cases in my trunk,” Hanstad said. “I then went to the back and talked to the manager, and he asked how many cases I had, [I] told him 4, and he bought them all.”

They have two types of BBQ right now, the Original Sweet & Smoky and Magnum with medium heat with little sweetness. They also have a small branch of seasoning, original all-purpose seasoning, sweet flavor and Magnum all-purpose seasoning with medium heat and little sweetness.

With many different sauces and seasonings available, Deadeye Premium BBQ recommends many different food¬†recipes and combinations such as Deadeye BBQ Chicken Pizza, Deadeye Chicken sliders, Deadeye’s Steak Nachos.

Their goal with this BBQ sauce is to grow into a regional business then a worldwide one. As of right now, future plans for the company are to keep it for a couple more years, then proceed to sell the company later on down the line.