The 11th annual Wapakoneta Wing Fest at the American Legion grounds featured two new vendors during this year’s event, and one of them brought a southern mustard recipe up north to steal first place.
The winner? Saucy Sows, a new company out of Jackson Center, was started by husband and wife duo, Theresa and Scott Scherer. They started the company in January, and have been ecstatic with how it has taken off so far.
“It’s been a really fun experience so far,” Scott Scherer said Saturday at the festival. “This is our first wing contest ever, and we’re just really happy to be able to win it.”
The contest, which was judged by both a five-member panel and on fan voting, found the Southern mustard-based BBQ to be the best in show.
“It’s a southern style BBQ sauce, and we’ve always used mustard as our base instead of tomato,” Theresa Scherer said. It is the best in the world, I’m Southern though.”
Theresa Scherer said the decision to start the company, rather than to keep it as a family recipe was at the urge of friends and family.
“It comes from a recipe I’ve sold for years, and everybody’s told me to bottle it, so we went through the steps and we did it. I’m glad we came,” Theresa Scherer said.
Another newcomer to the Wapak Wing Fest was a actually participant approximately 10 years ago. Custer and Sons BBQ in Lima, owned by Scott Custer, was another fan favorite at the festival.
“We were in it about 10 years ago,” Custer said. “We had a great time, it was a beautiful day, a lot of great people down here at the American Legion treated us very well.”
Custer said he will definitely be back again next year, and that’s mostly due to the amazing turnout.
“We sold a lot of wings and met a lot of nice people, we’ll be back here again next year to try it again,” Custer said. “We had a good time.”
Although Custer’s wings did not take home first place, he said he still thinks his are the best.
“Everybody does things different, so we cook ours on the grill with charcoal,” Custer said. “That’s the only way to go.
“We use our own rub and our own seasonings on it, and then we put the sauces on the side,” he said.
He also said they have several specialty sauces, including one made from Parrot Bay Pineapple Rum.
“Our specialty is the Parrot Bay Pineapple,” Custer said. “We did well with that, people really seemed to like it.”
He and his team had a chance to sample every wing at the festival, and he said there was not a bad wing to be found.
“We tried everyone of them and they are all real good, they all should have won,” Custer said.
He shared the winning wing was like none other at the festival, and that it definitely stood out as the most unique.
“That was really different, I’ve seen it before out of town, that’s a pretty popular thing nowadays is that mustard sauce,” Custer said. “Everybody’s got their own little specialty and they think theirs is the best.”
Kris Ewald, co-organizer for the Wing Fest, said this was one of the best turnouts they have ever had.
“It should be one of the highest grossest that we’ve ever had, I think it was a great success,” Ewald said.
Saucy Sows took home first place and $600, Meyer’s Tavern took second and $400, and Millie’s Cafe won people’s choice and took home $200.
Jacob Windle, of Wapakoneta, had a chance to try wings from several different vendors, including the spicy mustard wings from Saucy Sows.
“The mustard wings were pretty good, it was different,” Windle said. “The chicken was more tender then the others, it was really good.”
It was Windle’s first time to Wing Fest in Wapak, and said he would be back again next year.
“We love it down here in Wapak, just a great day for wings,” Custer said.