CHITTENANGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A Central New York veteran is paying a visit back home to give back to those who have served our country.
Mike Otis is launching a new line of barbeque sauce to raise awareness for veteran suicide and PTSD.
Otis’ Battle Tested® Craft Barbecue Sauce will be available in 30 tops locations from Chittenango to Watertown this Friday. For each bottle sold, 5% of the proceeds will go to Clear Path For Veterans.
“It’s not a pretty topic, but, 22 veterans a day kill themselves. That’s one every 72 minutes or 8,000 a year. And it’s a staggering number so, if we can help in a small way, bring awareness to that and help those veterans, that’s what we want to do,” Otis said.
Otis now lives in Raleigh, NC, where he finally launched his business a couple of years ago. It all stemmed from a family recipe that started decades ago. One that his dad kept secret from him until he turned 21. Since then, Otis served the sauce to his friends. After years of going back and forth, he made it into a business.
They sell it in stores in North Carolina and some local stores like Nichols in Livepool and Bella’s Bakery. But this week is the first time they started selling the sauce at Tops.
“To get into a grocery store here in your home town, and see the response that we’re getting from everybody, and actually see your product on the shelf with your name on it, is something it’s a little overwhelming. But it makes me feel good and hopefully, we’ll do some good with it in the givebacks that we do,” Otis said.
Otis is a veteran himself, serving in Operation Desert Storm with the 174th Fighter Wing at Hancock Field. Plus, he comes from a long line of veterans. One day, he hopes to take the brand to a national level, raising more money for charity.
If you know of a veteran who could benefit from local resources, reach out to the folks at Clear Path at (315) 687-3300 or you can email them at Info@ClearPathForVets.com.
The sauce comes in the following flavors: ORIGINAL SMOKEY SWEET MESQUITE, SIGNATURE SMOKEY SWEET W/ KICKIN’ HEAT MESQUITE, ORIGINAL SMOKEY SWEET HICKORY, and SIGNATURE SMOKEY SWEET W/ KICKIN’ HEAT HICKORY.