Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Marinade mixes family

Marinade mixes family

  • Updated
  • 0

The ol' cowboy-oilman J. Frank Hinkle could do two

things really well.

He could spend money. And he could make a marinade

meaner than any steer that ever managed to dodge his rope.

The marinade was good enough to prompt four grandsons to

spend big bucks on creating and marketing a liquid-dry

mixture from the recipe that Hinkle made up in 1942. The

recipe -- and Hinkle's entrepreneurial genes -- have led to a

livelihood for those grandchildren.

"I guess we grew up and figured out how to make our own

way," said Mike Southard, one of Hinkle's grandsons.

The grandsons created Daddy Hinkle's Instant Marinade

about five years ago, and now cooks across the Midwest use

the three varieties on their meats and vegetables. They buy

it from any of 600 to 800 Albertson's, Reasors Food

Warehouse, Bud's Family Foods, Homeland and other stores.

"I like the idea of my grandfather's face peering out of

every cabinet in the United States," said David Southard of

Tulsa, a major force in making Daddy Hinkle's a reality.

The Daddy Hinkle's booth is among those in the Made in

Oklahoma Building at the Tulsa State Fair, which runs

through Sunday. Sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of

Agriculture, the building spotlights Oklahoma products for

sale ranging from catfish breading and salsa, to soaps and

jar cakes, to beef jerky and pecans.

Hinkle lived in Duncan and liked to throw parties where

he'd marinate T-bone steaks and toss them on the grill.

"He always said, `I'll doctor them all up,' " David

Southard recalls.

Between the eating and laughing, Hinkle would talk to

people about their goals and eventually helped many of them

get started in business, Southard said.

Hinkle identified with people who had drive. He became

an orphan at 13 and had to take care of himself by working

in logging camps, on railroads and in the oil fields before

building his own steam-driven rig.

"He sort of gave us all that entrepreneurial spirit,"

Southard said. "I think he thought you could do anything you

wanted to do." Decades later, that spirit still beats in

the hearts of the Southards and Hinkles.

That became evident after Terry Hinkle, Southard's

cousin, mixed a batch of marinade as a gift for his graphic

arts business clients in the St. Louis area. The clients

loved the marinade so much that Hinkle and Southard's

younger brother, Denny, decided five years ago that they'd

package the marinade and try to sell it. Terry Hinkle

designed the label art featuring Daddy Hinkle's face offset

by an oil well and a cowboy roping in the background. They

talked David Southard into docking his sailboat in Florida

and moving back to Tulsa because he knew how to make things

happen. Brothers and cousin wrote Daddy Hinkle's story,

which appears on the back of the package, and they found

someone who could make the formula in huge batches. David

Southard arranged to have companies in Oklahoma City and

Des Moines, Iowa, make different components of Daddy

Hinkle's. Then he arranged to have all the components

assembled in Tulsa.

After about 11/2 years, they had the product packaged and

in Tulsa stores, where it sat on the shelves for the first

two weeks.

"We realized pretty bottles don't always sell," said Mike

Southard. "We realized if we weren't ready to demo it, we

shouldn't put it out." Since then, they've held frequent

in-store demos to stir up interest in Daddy Hinkle's and

keep folks coming back for more. Eventually they hope

to become large enough to justify setting up a full-time

production line in Tulsa, David Southard said.

"A lot of it is building a monument to one's grandfather

as much as establishing a business," he said. "I think that

he'd be really proud that we're doing this."


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News