News Release
 February 13, 2023
CONTACT: Kathy Sautter
716 635 5577

Honoring Local Black Run Businesses During Black History Month

(Williamsville, NY) – Eddie Harris worked as an operating engineer, by trade, and had the Winter months off. During the Winter months, he decided to open Eddie’s Chicken Coup. Eddie’s newly established restaurant served chicken, ribs, steak sandwiches and fish with a side of mac salad - all complimented with Boss Sauce.

Over the years as Eddie ran his restaurant, he found that people were constantly asking for more of “that sauce” on their food. At first, it was just a topping on the menu and then it just took off. “The sauce enhanced the food so much, we had to give it a name”, Eddie said. “People always inquired what was in it,” he tells a Tops spokeswoman, “But of course that’s a family secret.” Boss Sauce is now a registered trademark with the flavors: Mild, Hot, Thick and Rich, Blue Cheese, and Jerk.

“It’s a great mix of sweet and spicy – it tricks the palette. My mom used to make it for Thanksgiving and special meals. She was a good cook.”

Eddie tells Tops that he’s growing small but would like to grow faster. “I was initially pouring the bottles by hand with pitchers.” Today he has an entire production line with faster equipment that allows him to stay ahead of the game as sales increase. He fondly recalls the day Tops warmly welcomed him to their shelves.

“I remember the day well when Tops was one of the first places that opened their doors to me over 25 years ago. Now 40 years of being in business, I’m still going strong here,” said Eddie. Today you’ll find Boss Sauce at 93 Tops locations.

One of Eddie’s many goals is to continue to give back to the city that has given so much to him. “I know I can create jobs - that’s my biggest goal. Across the street from my company (American Specialty Manufacturing Inc.), there is a housing project, a church, multiple daycares, and the Jordan Health Center. I’m right on the bus line and that is a critical component to travel back and forth. I have the tools to make this work. The city has been a good partner to me.”

And while every new venture has its trials and tribulations, Eddie has a great attitude about it. “It’s a learning curve. I’ve always liked it. If there was any issue, I resolved it quickly. I love every day I’m here.”

What Eddie loved the most was always seeing the happy faces of the people at the restaurant. “I gave tours to the city school district kids. I introduced them to black ownership and when the kids saw the product and they knew my name, they lit up and said - hey my dad knows you!”, he laughs.

His next venture is expanding his product line to portion packs so that they can be used in schools across the area. “It’s already in the inner-city high school district because of its nutritional value. Why not have portion packs available for other businesses? Overall, Boss Sauce packs make sense and are coming soon.”

His eyes are open and ready for what lies ahead. He’s ready to expand with plenty of space, ingredients, and resources to do so. And while he still holds his union card and jumps on a machine every now again to brush up on his skills, his heart and soul truly lies with his roots in Boss Sauce.

Tops prides itself in supporting locally owned and operated businesses and working with local vendors and as we highlight these partnerships throughout the month of February, we encourage you to shop local and support businesses like Boss Sauce during Black History Month and beyond. To learn more about Boss Sauce, visit their website at or pick up his product at any one of the 93 Tops locations where it is carried.


About Tops Friendly Markets Based in Williamsville, NY, Tops Markets currently operates 149 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, including five that are run by franchisees. As the largest private, for-profit employer in Western New York, with over 14,000 associates, the company is dedicated to providing sustainably sourced, high-quality products, while helping its communities flourish via support for programs that eradicate hunger and disease, educate youth and reduce environmental waste and energy consumption. For more information, visit


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