Want to try Lazy Ray’s?
The ketchup and mustard sauce can be ordered online
Despite the name of a product he developed, Ray Joyner isn’t lazy.
The 2011 Forsyth Central High graduate is studying business management at the University of Georgia while working as a real estate agent.
The 19-year-old also recently launched a condiment line called Lazy Ray’s, developed from an idea he first came up with while a student at Mashburn Elementary.
“It’s kind of a funny story,” he said. “Back in elementary school when we used to eat corn dogs, they had the stick inside and we’d pull the stick out and use it to mix the ketchup and mustard together because it was too hard to dip the corn dog into the ketchup and then the mustard and get the right amount of each.”
Fast forward to Joyner’s senior year of high school. He thought the idea of pre-mixing ketchup and mustard in one bottle would be a hit.
“I talked to my parents about it … and we decided, ‘Hey, let’s start it. We’re sure people will support it,’” he said.
Since then, he has developed a mix that he believes is the “perfect balance” of the two condiments for topping burgers, hot dogs and, of course, corn dogs. It’s also good for dipping French fries or using as a glaze for meats.
He found a bottler for the product in Alabama and developed a Web site for online sales.
“We just got the product out back in October, so we’re now shooting to get into some grocery stores,” Joyner said. “We’re talking to Food Lion. Ingles, we sent them a sample, and we’re in a local grocery store in North Carolina.”
Lazy Ray’s is also on the shelves of Bell’s Food Store, which has four locations in the Athens area.
The product’s logo features the image of a little boy wearing a baseball cap, which is different from what Joyner first envisioned.
“I have a dog, a chocolate lab, and we were thinking about putting him on the logo,” he said.
But after his mom submitted the product idea for graphic artists to design a logo, he and his family decided to go with the boy.
“We got a lot of submissions with dogs on them, but we thought people might think the product was dog food or something for dogs.”
As for the future of his company, Joyner hopes to expand and add a ketchup and mayonnaise mix, which is a popular combination known as “fry sauce” in many Western states.
“We want to bring that down into the South,” he said.
The line expansion will hinge largely on a contest he’s hoping to win at the university.
“I’m entering the UGA Top Entrepreneur Contest,” he said. “Basically, you go in front of a panel of investors and pitch your idea.
“I already talked to the guy who runs it and he said I’ve got a good shot because I’ve already got a product that I’m selling. A lot of people come in with just ideas.”
If Joyner does win, he’ll received $100,000 in exchange for a 10 percent stake in the company.
Until then, he hopes to boost sales and keep eating Lazy Ray’s sauce.
“I’ve definitely eaten a lot of it here lately and so have my parents and friends,” he said. “We’re just running with it.”