If someone found themselves barbecuing while mulling over some of life’s biggest questions, Augustus Merriweather III is the best person they could hope to have by their side.
Whether someone is trying to step up their backyard grill game or looking to get some guidance through life’s next adventure, 63-year-old Merriweather, a.k.a. Chuck, has been a entrepreneur guru for many in the Dayton area.
In 2016, Merriweather started BigMins BBQ Seasoning Paste, a signature BBQ flavoring that was a solution to a problem Merriweather continuously ran into while trying to perfect his barbecue.
“(Merriweather) became a frustrated cookout host when all the barbecue sauce and seasoning products he tried failed him,” according to BigMins BBQ website. “Dry seasonings fell off, sauces slid off, and marinades required long wait times before cooking could begin. The flavors just weren’t quite right on any of them... So Chuck did what any frustrated cook would do – he started experimenting.”
BigMins BBQ has grown in popularity since its launch and is now sold in stores everywhere across the Ohio and Cincinnati region. In fact, it can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.
During the pandemic, however, Merriweather got started on his next big project in a completely new arena, authoring his first self-published book.
“BigMins Practical Life Guide To Keeping it Simple Sometimes (K.I.S.S.)” is Merriweather’s literary debut that published on June 3. The book is on sale on Amazon for $12.99, though Merriweather hopes to get it on local and national bookstore shelves in the near future.
“This book was inspired while I navigated my life’s journey,” Merriweather said. “I recognized there weren’t many books providing a simple one-stop all-inclusive milestone direction and counsel. I wanted to provide a guide one could casually read and occasionally revisit as they evolved.”
Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Merriweather is a mentor, friend, father, husband and businessman. Continuously throughout his life, he said he’s had those big life conversations with the people close to him. But when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt, it pushed him to put his life lessons to paper.
“It was a real good time to, you know, have this pause moment for self-reflection, to rehash who am I, what am I,” Merriweather said. “I think there’s something so simple here that the whole world is really exposed to right now for the first time.”
Though the “Practical Life Guide” is suitable and relevant to readers of all ages, he imagines the book to be perfect for “youngsters who have just gone off to college and their parents.”
Merriweather wanted to create something people could gravitate to and that could be a rudder in the water for times of self-reflection and change. The book is intended to be a one-stop-shop for some of life’s biggest questions, and Merriweather hopes it can be a handy guide people can re-read and re-visit whenever their life evolves.
More than 30 years ago, after ping-ponging around the country for years, Merriweather and his wife settled in Dayton to put roots down to raise their family.
Though Merriweather doesn’t specifically talk about his experience as a homegrown business owner in Dayton because he instead “wanted to appeal to the masses,” he said the book paints a framework for creative individuals who want to begin their own small business journey anywhere.
When preparing to publish the book, Merriweather decided to keep his BBQ brand name, BigMins, attached to the book, so that the name could possibly become a bigger brand, beyond just the grill products.
“It’s not trying to create a moniker for myself or a badge of honor or adulation, it’s doing a couple things,” Merriweather said. “Could I offer some value to somebody else with my own initiative? And also, (the book was) an awakening of myself to know that I do have something to offer. We all do. I call it ‘untethered, infinite possibility.’ Yeah, it’s in all of us.”
Follow along with Merriweather’s latest adventures, including his just-patented Grill Gizmo, on facebook.com/BigMinsBBQ.
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