There’s a new Wing Stop you have to make in Texas! Sienna Wings which will officially open August 12th is Soft Launching today in celebration of National Chicken Wing Day. The Self-Proclaimed ‘Best Wings in Texas’ is owned by The 19-Year-Old ‘Sauce Boss’ Tyla-Simone!
She didn’t give us the recipe, but she dropped a few nuggets in our exclusive interview.
FT: Tyla-Simone give us the who what when where and how! Seeing how Gen Z is digitally native, was it YouTube that piqued your interest in cooking?
Sauce Boss: Actually, I’ve been having the dream of owning a restaurant from a very young age, probably around 5 years old. My parents made sure to give me a diverse pallet as a child from sushi to basically everything.
FT: That’s amazing! So take our audience thru the process from becoming ‘The Sauce Boss’ to owning the brick-and-mortar Sienna Wings.
Sauce Boss: So the Sauce came first because I wanted to recreate the flavor from my favorite wing place at home [New York City] that closed down. So my mom [Monique Crayton] started helping me. I was probably around 8 years old, I would sell my first bottle at 13.
FT: Wow! What were some of the challenges you faced?
Sauce Boss: Perfecting the recipe and getting it to taste the same each time.
FT: Ok so consistency. That’s understandable.
Sauce Boss: Yes I took a while but once I got it down I was like that’s it.
With the support and assistance of her mother, Monique Crayton, Tyla-Simone created something even better and healthier than the sauce she loved as a child. The low-sodium, honey-based Sienna Sauce contains no high-fructose corn syrup and is gluten-free so the consumers can indulge in its great taste, guilt-free.
FT: Ok so when would you sell your first bottle?
Sauce Boss: So first we would have little family functions and I would cook my wings and everyone said it was good. But I wanted to know if my sauce was really good or if my family just said so because, you know, they are family. Once we moved to Texas we started selling wings out of our house every Friday and people kept saying my sauce was so good we needed to sell it. So my mom went out and bought 1000 and yea we started selling my sauce.
FT: As well as gaining massive attention as a young Entrepreneur! Winning multiple awards [including the Pinnacle Award from the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce as the first-ever recipient to receive an award for Youth Entrepreneurship]. So take us from Sienna Sauce to Sienna Wings
Sauce Boss: So they don’t go together they are separate things. They are more so like compliments. The Sauce came first and once I perfected that I went back to my dream of being a Restauranteur and here we are.
FT: Doing all of this and you’re not even of legal age to drink! How do you find balance Tyla?
Sauce Boss: That’s a good question! I make sure I take off. Like, you have to have those days when you don’t work, because being a full-time student and a CEO can burn you out so I take off days seriously.
Working as a full-time entrepreneur and a full-time student, Tyla-Simone sacrificed a normal teenage life to pursue her dreams. With 2 years left of high school, she started homeschooling while still maintaining her growing Sienna Sauce business. It was not an easy decision to make but one that made the most sense for the amount of time she would have to commit to both her business and school life. She’s currently attending US Berkley and is studying Business.
Ft: Right. Now one thing I love about Gen Z is how intentional you guys are about your Mental Health. Running a business alone can cause your Mental Health to take a hit. What are 3 things you are doing to keep your Mental Health in good condition?
Sauce Boss: That’s such a great question because I’m working on creating a foundation that gives support and resources to young entrepreneurs like myself for that very thing. I’m going to focus on it once I graduate. Right now the first thing I do is GET MY SLEEP!
Her youthful face lights up with a bright smile and her eyes close as if she’s thinking about the sleep she’s probably going to get tonight.
FT: So [The Cliché Terms] all gas no breaks and sleep when you’re dead, doesn’t apply to you.
Sauce Boss: (She Laughs) Absolutely, not lol I don’t play about that pillow. Also, I am not a chef by far, but I love to cook as a hobby! Like it really just centers me. Now I know that can get fuzzy seeing how I cook for work, but when I do it for myself it doesn’t feel like work. It’s just something I love to do. And my mom always asks me why I don’t record. She says “You should record yourself cooking”. But then it would feel like work. I just make my food and sit down and watch my show. Now I’m still a teenager so I also do regular stuff like hang out with my friends you know and just enjoy life.
FT: Such a mature answer. National Chicken Wing Day is this Saturday, will Sienna Wings have anything special?
Sauce Boss: So our Grand Opening is August 12th. We did a soft Friends and Family opening last week and yes we will be open to the public this Saturday giving out multiple samples and other goodies. Make sure you come out!
FT: Any special times or menus?
Sauce Boss: So our menu is pretty simple because we wanted to focus on the wings. So you can get wings in multiple flavors, our Lemon Pepper is a fan favorite. For sides, we have fries and our FAMOUS Mac & Cheese! [We’re located in Missouri City at 4603 Sienna Pkwy Missouri City, Texas] Come out and celebrate with us!
FT: Ok I love Hot Lemon Pepper all flats! What’s next for you?
Sauce Boss: I want to be bigger than Wingstop! So I’m just continuing to learn and trying to get better . I’m studying business at UC Berkley once I graduate [as I mentioned earlier] I want to work on my foundation. I’m doing all of this early so that when I get older I can just do what I love and travel with the people I love, gain new experiences, and just enjoy life.
FT: Sounds like you really got the Sauce! Thank you for speaking with Forward Times! We can’t wait to celebrate #NationalChickenWingDay with The Sauce Boss!