The strength of Compass Group comes from the diversity of our people, clients and suppliers. As part of our commitment to creating a culture where all feel valued, welcomed and heard, we are highlighting our diverse supplier partnerships during heritage months throughout the year, inviting you to join their journey.
In honor of Black History Month, we are featuring Lillie’s of Charleston. Born out of their father Hank Tisdale’s love for barbeque, sisters Tracey Richardson and Kellye Wicker started Lillie’s of Charleston in 2001. With the mantra “May You Never Feel Unwanted, Unloved, or Hungry,” Lillie’s of Charleston offers the finest, authentic Southern recipes for sauces and spices to enhance any meal. Here, they know that food is much more than sustenance. Food is the flavor of life.
Meet Tracey Tisdale-Richardson, CEO and Co-Founder:
Q: Tell us about your company mission.
A: We are committed to making the Gullah Geechee culture accessible through 100% all-natural ingredient food products to share with family and friends. The Gullah Geechee people are descendants of Africans who were enslaved on the rice, indigo and Sea Island cotton plantations of the lower Atlantic coast.
Q: How and why did you get started?
A: Growing up, my father owned a restaurant in downtown Charleston, SC called The Rib Shack. My sister and I helped during the summers and witnessed customers asking Daddy for his sauce to take home. Even after the restaurant closed, people continued to ask for them. This was the birth of our family bottling those sauce recipes now called, Lillie’s of Charleston.
Q: Tell us about what makes Lillie’s of Charleston unique?
A: Our family recipe for hot mustard BBQ sauce named “Hab Mussy” won several awards. Customers have nick-named it Sneaky Heat! South Carolina is iconic in the BBQ circuit for its mustard-based BBQ sauces.
Our line of high-quality products offer unique flavor profiles with “Better For You” attributes. All our products are 100% natural and gluten-free. Our sauces are low in sodium, lower in sugar and our spices are keto-friendly.
Q: Tell us about your involvement with the community.
A: Lillie’s named several of its products in honor of the Gullah culture and we’re also committed to donating a portion of our annual proceeds to organizations working to preserve the Gullah Geechee language and culture, like Penn Center for Gullah Culture.
We make donations and volunteer our time at several non-profit organizations within our community: Jenkins Institute for Children; Fresh Future Farm and Delancey Street – a local program for men turning their lives around.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: Our company motto is one that I keep above my desk every day to remind me of the true measure of what we’re creating: Good food and happiness for the families who buy our products. With a flavor-first mentality in everything we make, along with a heightened attention to better health and immunity strength, we attempt to deliver higher nutritional profiles while maintaining flavorful enjoyment. It’s paramount that we always honor Aunt Lillie’s name. She is no longer with us but I hope she sees what we have created, and smiles.
Q: What are you most excited about as it relates to your partnership with Compass Group?
A: To have ability to work across so many industries plus access to additional membership partners is such a unique and rare opportunity for a small business. The initial processes Compass and Foodbuy have established to train, mentor and develop a path of continued cultivation with Category Managers all shine a bright light on the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and opportunity to create future generational wealth for minority communities.
Q: How does your heritage influence your work?
A: In the South, we take food and hospitality seriously. We pay homage to the rich cultural heritage of our Gullah Geechee ancestors located along the South Carolina and Georgia Sea Islands. Many of our product names are inspired by our southern, Gullah heritage like “Hab Mussy” mustard BBQ sauce and “Hissy Fit” all-purpose spice.
Explore more and shop our products at https://www.lilliesofcharleston.com/
Lowcountry Style Wings
- 3 lbs chicken wings or drummettes
- 1/3 cup "Ho-Lotta" seasoning
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 quarts water
- 5 oz "Special Blend" or "Low Country Loco" Hot Sauce
- 1/2 stick butter
Mustard BBQ Sauce
- 7 oz "Finger Leek-en" or "Hab Mussy" Mustard BBQ Sauce
- Blend all the brine ingredients in a large stock pot and heat just enough to dissolve dry ingredients. Allow brine solution to cool and add the wings to the pot and refrigerate or place in gallon plastic zipper bags and refrigerate for 4 hours. For best results, soak wings in brine in refrigerator overnight. Rinse wings thoroughly with cold water after removing from the bag. Pat wings dry and now you are ready prep for your preferred cooking method and flavor.
- Toss wings in sauce or oil and dry spice of your choice.
How to Oven Roast
- Cook wings at 400 degrees for 40 minutes on a well-oiled sheet pan, turning once halfway through cooking.
How to Deep Fry
- Cook at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until done.
- Once the wings are deep fried, place in a large bowl and toss with the sauce of your choice until completely coated.
How to Air Fry
- Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees F
- Spray wings with PAM or similar cooking spray and place in the air fryer so the wings are not touching.
- Cook for 12 minutes and then flip and cook for another 10 minutes.
- To get extra crispy skin, increase temp to 400 degrees F and cook for another 4 minutes flipping once.
- Once the wings are done, place in a large bowl and toss with the sauce of your choice until completely coated.
How to Grill
- Grill over medium heat for 10 minutes per side or until done, turning frequently.
- Once wings are grilled, baste with sauce on both sides for the last 2 minutes on the grill. Or when finished, toss in separate bowl with the sauce of your choice.