Dave Raymond – Co-President
Dave Raymond, aka Sweet Baby Ray, and Cathy (his wonderful wife) are lifelong Chicagoans with more than 29 passionate years of the barbecue biz behind them. As a youngster growing up on Chicago’s West Side (Best Side) Dave learned early on that life is not always fair or easy—a lesson that helped to define the friend, businessman, and person that he is today. Capitalizing on early success at Mike Royko’s Ribfest in Chicago, 1982, Dave and life-long friend, Mike O’Brien, built Sweet Baby Ray’s into what today is the best-selling barbecue sauce in the country.
Now a multi-faceted business operation, Sweet Baby Ray’s boasts two restaurants, a full-service Elk Grove Village location run with Mike and a barbecue “joint” in Wood Dale run with nephew, Duce, as well as two premier catering companies. Dave is also a member of competition team, Duce’s Wild, which has won over 40 awards since they’ve begun competing. Currently, Dave resides in Wood Dale, close to relatives and life-long friends, and spends much of his spare time with the barbecue community, still lovin’ the ‘que crew as much as ever.