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Our first product, released in 2009, was born in our family's steakhouse in 1996, when founder Damon Holter created what would become our Original Steak Sauce & Marinade, and began serving it with every meal.

The Croix Valley Story

Picture a small kitchen, a sizzling steakhouse, and the birth of our award-winning recipes that would soon captivate taste buds worldwide. It all started with the irresistible aroma of our homemade steak sauce, served with every meal, and the persistent requests from patrons to bottle and share the magic.

Responding to the clamor for our delectable creations, we officially entered the retail market in 2009, introducing the world to our iconic Original Steak Sauce. Fast forward to the relentless pursuit of culinary excellence, and Croix Valley Foods has evolved far beyond that initial steak sauce, expanding our repertoire to include over 40 mouthwatering marinades, tantalizing barbecue and wing sauces, savory dry rubs and seasonings, and even our signature Bloody Mary Seasonings.

Our Growth

Beginning our production journey in a 100 square foot space in the back of a meat market in our hometown, our all-natural, gluten-free products were embraced locally and quickly expanded regionally. As consumers discovered that our products were versatile items to embrace during any meal, our line expanded, our customer base flourished, and we began to find international acclaim for our innovative products, building relationships and gaining new fans across the globe.

Fueling this fiery success, we built and unveiled our state-of-the-art 20,000 square foot production facility in Hudson, WI in 2023 (that's right, we make every bottle of Croix Valley product ourselves, in our own facility, with our own team, and have done so since we started 15 years ago). This cutting-edge facility is the epicenter of our culinary innovations, ensuring that the irresistible essence of Croix Valley products continues to grace grills, smokers, and kitchens across the globe. From BBQ supply shops to hardware stores, from meat markets to specialty food shops and beyond, our delectable creations have found a home, delighting taste buds in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and beyond.

Championship Products

Croix Valley Foods has emerged as a culinary powerhouse, playing a pivotal role in catapulting individuals worldwide to victory in food sport competitions. Renowned for its exceptional line of gourmet sauces and seasonings, the company has become a go-to choice for competitive chefs and grillmasters aiming to elevate their dishes to award-winning heights. Notably, in the prestigious World Food Championships, participants have achieved remarkable success by incorporating Croix Valley products into their recipes. The company's commitment to quality and innovation has not only revolutionized the culinary landscape but has also positioned itself as an indispensable ally for those striving for excellence in food competitions on a global scale. We are proud to say that our products have not only helped countless champions win over discerning judges weekly in competitive arenas across the globe, but have been integral to the success of helping competitors win World Championships in professional Steak, Sandwich, Sausage, and Chili competitions.

Our accolades don't start and stop with just the competitive food sport scene. We're not only humbled and grateful for the pro barbecue, steak, and other food sport competitors who use our products routinely to help win, but we're also equally proud of our own accomplishments with professional industry awards recognizing Croix Valley as the top of our game for culinary excellence and business savvy. We're the proud recipients of over 100 product excellence awards from the National Barbecue Association, National Barbecue News, the Scovie Awards, Fiery Foods Awards, and others. We're also most delighted and appreciative to be recipients of the U.S. Presidents 'E' Award of Excellence for Exporting, the Wisconsin Governor's Export Achievement Award, the Small Business Administration's Exporter of the Year Award, the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council's Product Innovation Award, and many more.

Join us on our journey

Croix Valley Foods invites you to experience the allure of our award-winning recipes, and to understand why our products are turning backyard barbecue enthusiasts into seasoned Pitmasters at the helms of grills and smokers from continent to continent. We believe no matter what you're cooking or whether you prefer a grill, stovetop, air fryer, or toaster oven, we've got game-changing products that will help you create the most mouth-watering food with ease that you can share with friends, and family, or even food sport judges alike.


"We'll See Ya' Around the Grill!" — Damon & Lu Holter, Owners of Croix ValleyFoods.


Damon Holter - Owner

After spending 15 years in the restaurant industry, Damon Holter turned his attention to manufacturing his acclaimed steak sauce and started Croix Valley Foods.  Damon's recipes for Croix Valley Foods products have garnered countless international industry awards and recognition since the company began, catapulting him into the barbecue industry spotlight and opening doors.Damon is not only an owner of Croix Valley Foods, but is also a barbecue and grilling expert.  Bringing his expertise to the world of food sport, he has won numerous awards, accolades and World Championships throughout the country in hundreds of events and professional competitions, including Kansas City Barbecue Society competitions, Steak Cookoff Association contests, Culinary Fight Club events, The World Food Championships, The International Chili Society and others. Damon holds 2 back-to-back World Sandwich Champion Titles and a World Open Chili Championship title.

Damon regularly performs cooking and grilling segments on local television newscasts, provides culinary content for National publications and has been featured on Travel Channel’s “American Grilled”.  Damon also hosted 13 episodes for Outside Television Network’s “Fired Up Food” and he has competed on Food Network’s “Family Food Showdown”.

Damon is also an avid outdoorsman, a world record holding fisherman, wildlife artist, and an accomplished musician.

Lu Holter - Owner

After spending 10 years in the legal field, Lu put her efforts behind Croix Valley Foods to manufacture and market the award-winning product line full time.  Together with Damon, Lu formed the Croix Valley Sauces Competition Cooking Team, where her mastery of the art of barbecue thrust her into the arena of competition cooking.

As an avid food sport competitor, Lu has won numerous awards nation-wide in professional cooking competitions, including Kansas City Barbeque Society competitions, Steak Cookoff Association contests, Culinary Fight Club events and the World Food Championships. Lu has been found competing on television programs such as Food Network’s “Family Food Showdown” , "BBQ Brawl" and "Guy's Grocery Games".

In addition to her role as a Croix Valley owner and barbecue expert, Lu also loves to be outdoors, cultivate the koi in her backyard pond and spend time fishing and kayaking.