Beyond the Pantry: Wayne Shive, Best Boy & Co.
In 2007, Best Boy & Co. started as a tiny boutique operation—Wayne Shive filling small jars with his homemade dessert sauces to share with friends and family. He expected train wrecks along the way as his business grew. Instead, one astonishing success followed another.
“The first product hit the shelves in 2009. In the meantime, we were perfecting the recipe and designing the label. The products are all-natural and use local ingredients whenever possible,” says Shive.
Today, Best Boy & Co. is an officially designated Indiana Artisan producing nearly 18 individual food products, made in small batches at a commercial kitchen in Columbus, and sold at nearly 50 locations in Indiana. Its lineup includes dessert sauces, barbecue sauces, three-spice blends and a deli-style mustard. Shive is very proud to have been awarded this year’s International Gold Medal for the best stone-ground mustard. There were over 750 mustards submitted to the contest, stunning Shive on his first-time entry.
All products are labeled and capped by hand while Shive personally takes part in distribution. Their goal is to produce the best food and taste possible with the highest-quality ingredients, just the way Shive insisted, while making a positive impact in the world.
“I thought Indiana needed its own Paul Newman,” he says. “I’ve always had this creative bug in me.”
Shive strives to continually raise the bar and provide unparalleled foods and he knows how important it is to “look beyond our kitchen window.” In this spirit, 100% of profits are distributed to qualifying 501(c)(3) charities and organizations benefiting children and families, like the American Red Cross, the Enough Project, Doctors Without Borders and the International Crisis Group. Their mission is to support humanitarian efforts locally and abroad.
“I don’t even pay myself,” Shive says. “All profits go to charities to the betterment of families and children.”
Shive’s craft was manufacturing, his passion is food, and his love is his family and friends. But his heart and soul are dedicated to helping make the world a better place. His commitment to philanthropy is clear: He used his influence, gave financial resources and volunteered his time after retirement to advance humanitarian causes around the world. He is a man of abundant good humor, generosity and humility, which clearly shines through in Best Boy & Co. As for the name and logo, Shive had the idea to name the company after his and his wife’s nickname for their Boykin spaniel, Best Boy.
To help launch the shopping season, the Indiana Artisan Holiday Marketplace, co-hosted by Shive, will take place November 29 and 30 at the Grand Wayne Center during Fort Wayne’s HolidayFest. It will feature nearly 75 art and food artisans, many of them recognized as the best in Indiana, and will encourage guests to sample an array of craft foods in addition to meeting visual artists.
Best Boy & Co. products are available online at BestBoyAndCo.com, locally at high-end retail businesses and at the Crestwoods Frame Shop and Gallery, a business he and his wife, Ann, own in Roanoke.
Photos courtesy of Best Boy & Co.