The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


Barbara Szabo Kitz, of Oregon, has been making her grandmother’s special chili sauce for years.

Now, after friends and family begged her to sell her sauce, Kitz will soon launch her Hoopie Sauce in local markets this summer.

Named after her grandmother Marguerite Huepenbecker, who taught her how to make the sauce and was affectionately known as Grandma Hoopie, the sauce remains true to its 100-year-old tradition.

Barbara Kitz, creator of Hoopie Sauce. (Press
photo by Ken Grosjean)

“The sauce is sweet and savory, with lots of tomatoes,” Kitz said. “We put it on brats, burgers and other cookout foods, but we also love it on scrambled eggs, mac and cheese, and Lake Erie Perch sandwiches.”

Kitz said she was also looking for more ways to raise money for the Thomas D. Kitz Foundation, named after her late husband Tom, who passed away in 2009. The foundation raises awareness and helps support Pancreatic Cancer oncology efforts.

“It was 13 months to the day from diagnosis to the day he died,” Kitz said. “It was a horrible road. Tom asked us, the family, to do something to help give other people a fighting chance. A portion of the proceeds from the sauce will be used to help fund research on pancreatic cancer.”

Kitz used Kickstarter, an Internet funding site, in April, to raise funds for marketing and to build a larger fan base for the sauce. Her campaign raised just over $6,000 which will be used to produce the first mega batch of sauce at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen in Bowling Green.

“The NOCK is an incubator for food products and small businesses,” Kitz said. “They helped get Garlic Expressions started, as well as the Stadium Salsa, which is sold at the Mud Hen’s games.”

Kitz said her first commercial batch of Hoopie Sauce should be available for sale in July.

“The sauce is close to production,” she said. “The initial run will be a 25 gallon batch to make sure everything is working like we want it to. After that, we will make 55 gallon batches.”

The sauce has already made fans across the country. Hoopie Sauce will be served and sold at Earl’s Gourmet Grub, in Los Angeles, CA, Kitz said.

Hoopie Sauce will also be sold locally at Takacs Grocery and Meats, located at 1956 Genesee, in East Toledo.

Lou Takacs, owner, said Kitz dropped off a few samples of her product at the store. Takacs said he knew he had to carry it.

“The sauce is different, unique and out of the ordinary,” Takacs said. “I can’t describe the flavor, but it will be very good on sausages and hamburgers. The product stands for itself. As soon as she gets it done, we will carry it.” 

Until the sauce is on the market, Kitz is continuing to raise funds for the foundation.  The 5th Annual Thomas Kitz Memorial Open will be held on Saturday, June 22, at the South Toledo Golf Club, 3915 Heatherdowns Boulevard, in Toledo.

The scrambles tournament will be held from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and includes a Big Easy Cocktail Hour, a Bayou Dinner, Who Dat Auction as well as 18 holes of golf and a golf cart.

To register for the TKMOpen, visit to For more information on Hoopie Sauce, visit




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