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Sauce Stache

‘‘ At one point I was releasing 3 videos a week. If I still had hair, I would have lost it during those weeks. ’’

By Mark ThompsonAugust 31, 2017

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Hi Mark, can you briefly describe your channel to new viewers?

Sauce Stache is about food first and foremost! My girlfriend Monica and I started the channel to teach people how to make awesome sauces using great ingredients. We’ve expanded since then to incorporate fun, travel, interesting foods and quick cooking methods. We are always trying something new to bring people closer to food and make things even more fun.

What is your professional background? What compelled you to start Sauce Stache?

I am currently an IT supervisor at a multimedia entertainment university in Orlando, Florida. I also run an independent video production company solo.  During my career, I have worked as a sound engineer, an audio/video technician and an audio studio technician. I have always been interested in the entertainment industry. I taught myself digital design using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator while learning to code my first iPhone application in 2011. I was then able to use those skills to teach myself video editing using iMovie and finally moving to Final Cut Pro X.

My girlfriend Monica urged me to create a blog centered around sauces after I cooked dinner for her a few times. She realized I would always make sauces to incorporate with the dinner. With her blogging background (theyogimovement.com) she thought a sauce-based blog would work great. I already enjoyed making videos as a hobby and decided to make a short overhead food video with odd music that I stole from the game 2 dots. I knew this video wouldn’t be something I could upload but it gave me the primer to create a Youtube channel. In September 2016, we came up with the name Sauce Stache and I grabbed every social media account I could and started working on videos. The first videos took around 15 hours each to produce from start to finish and by November, I had 4 overhead sauce recipe videos ready to launch on Youtube.

With a full-time job, what does your weekly schedule look like in regards to your Youtube operations?

I work my full time job Monday-through-Friday, 8 hours-a-day, 9am-5pm. I also edit videos for my production company Sunday mornings and Monday evenings.


So I film Sauce Stache every Sunday afternoon and Wednesday during my lunch breaks. I edit one video on Sunday nights and finish Monday mornings.  The other video is edited on Wednesday and Thursday nights. I use Tuesday evening and Saturday mornings as times to strategize that weeks marketing efforts. Then I sprinkle marketing in during the free time slots in the week. It is always a hectic week. Thursday late evenings is my 1 night I have to go play some poker with the guys!

Do you use any techniques/hacks/tools to reduce the hours spent in any workflow?

I use a few tools that help with analytics. Morningfa.me is a great website that helps you see how you compare to other channels in your genre. Morningfame compares your watchtime, views, engagement and subscriber growth. It helps you determine if your channel is trending upwards and on what section is best to focus your attention.


I also use Tubebuddy. Tubebuddy is a browser plugin that has tons of uses, but my favorite is its Tag Explorer. The Tag explorer allows you to search for tags or keywords and see where those key words rank in search volume and competition. They also provide suggestions based on association and relevancy.

If any readers have any hacks/tips for quicker editing, let me know!

Besides recipes, you experiment with a variety of new topics. What topics have worked well/poorly?

I always like to experiment. It’s fun to test new video ideas and see if people bite. In my channel, I have tested different video concepts:  travel vlogs based around food, Youtube specific food news, and Lunch break.

I came up with the travel vlogging for food idea with my friend Amy that runs a popular Charlotte, North Carolina Instagram account EatUpCLT. I wanted the vlog to be fun but the food needed to be the star. The vlogs were probably my favorite videos to create. To keep them entertaining, I always included both Monica and I (as everyone loves Monica). However, I quickly realized that vlogging eats up your entire schedule and it was putting a damper on our lives. I stopped the vlogs for now, but am always open to starting again. You’ll still see them sprinkled in every now and then.

Then I was really excited for my YouTube Food News Concept. I worked for a few weeks on concepting the idea, coming up with segments and shooting ideas. I watch the Phillip De Franco show consistently and studied his flow. I knew I didn’t want to copy him but I wanted to have a similar feeling around food.  I eventually launched the first episode with a good feeling of support from my fellow creators, but I got a meh feeling from my subscribers. I ended up only producing 2 episodes before deciding to shelf the idea until a later date.

My most popular concept has been Lunch Break. Lunch Break is a weekly recipe tutorial of foods that I’ve never made and I try to make them in my hour lunch break. That usually leaves me rushing, sometimes making mistakes that I always leave in the videos. Lunch Break has been the most fun and challenging videos to create and are currently driving about 50% of the views to the channel.

I do believe in always trying new things and not worrying about their failures.

As a new creator on Youtube, what lessons have you learned the hard way?

Time management. Working a full time job and trying to get out at least 2 videos a week has been challenging.

At one point I was releasing 3 videos a week. If I still had hair, I would have lost it during those weeks.

When I started the channel I knew how long each video took to edit. As I moved forward the editing took up less time and a groove was created. Once I had that groove going I felt comfortable adding a second weekly video. I was still tweaking that second video and trying to get into the groove when I decided to add a third video. That was a hard lesson. I was constantly stressed trying to manage ideas, editing, marketing, and my daily life. I felt the quality of all of the videos started to degrade and that’s when I knew I had to step back and take a look at the channel again.

How long did it take for you to acquire your first 1K subscribers? Which marketing channels were most effective?

It took 8 months to gain my first 1000 subscribers. I had slow but steady growth since the beginning. I had the hard lesson of trying to be everywhere at once. I tried to build a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Page, and Facebook Group all at once. Even though Reddit brought in my most of my channels views, I still veered away from it for months at a time.  I would at times get a lot of views, but the watch time would be low. While other videos would be received better with higher watch time. But I couldn’t get the upvotes to gain large views. I was starting to worry about getting banned for spam from Reddit so I turned to Facebook Groups. I shared in dozens of groups and worked at becoming part of their communities, but most of those groups were dead groups with LOTS of zombie followers.

Where I was successful in building a small but decent size following was Twitter. I would get retweets and comments, some from larger creators, but again twitter did not really drive a lot views, not like Reddit could. I’m now back full time on Reddit, working myself into the communities and finding new subreddits to drive traffic.


What’s the last editing technique you learned and incorporated into a video?

Since I shoot almost everything alone and don’t want to use a lot of handheld shots I have had to get creative in editing to create movement in my videos. In the past I’ve used hard cuts with scaling to zoom on attention shots. I have always used keyframing for creating movements in text, and images, but recently I started applying those movements to the video as well. I’ve been testing using a third camera and finding its best possible location for shots.

You did your first live stream! How was the experience and what would you do differently next time?

I loved that live stream, and I’m really excited to do more. I had a blast and was very grateful for the subscribers that showed up. I got a lot of great questions from other YouTube cooking channels that made the live stream go pretty flawless. I did make a mistake while setting up my 70D. I used OBS screen capture feature to grab the video from the Canon EOS utility. Somehow the crop was off a bit and the live stream was streamed only showing 3/4s of the screen. No one mentioned anything during the stream and I didn’t even see the issue until later that day when the stream was available to view on youtube.

I made the decision to do the live stream the same day going live. I didn’t share it or broadcast out to social media that I was going live besides a quick tweet right before the live stream. I really wanted to see how much traffic would be generated directly from Youtube notifications.  I know for next time, I will make it a planned event with planned talking points and make sure I have the crop set correctly.

Based on your current experience so far, would you want to become a full-time Youtuber?

That is the goal! I have a 3 year plan that I am breaking up into parts per year. I am really excited to be moving into phase 2 pretty soon. I’ll be calling that Sauce Stache Season 2.

How do you plan to spend your first Youtube check?

Most likely on hard-drives to store all of these videos. I’ve never felt comfortable deleting a Final Cut project file. I like having the raw video for the chance that something will need to be re-edited in the future. Currently almost a year of videos I’m at 3TB of storage.

What’s next for you (and Sauce Stache)?


Season 2 is going to bring a lot of changes. New kitchen, Better lighting, and a lot more cinematic shots!

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  • matthew Leeto

    Hey Mark! I love the work ethic – got my mind racing about how I could do something after work as well… Also that Sauce Stache Logo is really nice. Did you make it yourself?

    • Sauce Stache

      Thank you so much Matthewleeto!!! Do it!! and yes I designed my own logo.. I’ve thought about possibly sending it to a real designer to have some touch ups done or maybe a little clean up in the future though!

  • elaineowens1

    Hey Mark, do you keep your camera rig fixed onto the kitchen? Or do you setup everytime before you shoot? I also would like to try if I could do my videos in the morning “before I go to work”

    • Sauce Stache

      Hi there elaineowens1 The overhead camera and lighting are fixed and stays in place which makes it soooo much easier. I do use my main camera for other gigs so that is always coming with me. I can now get everything setup ready to shoot in under 10 minutes. You should totally give the before work videos a go!! Try a few and see how they come out!! It took me about 5 videos before I started really getting the flow!

  • James Noir

    Love the concept of this “lunch break” cooking. I would feel so pressured to be back to work on time… would be kitchen disaster each time!

    • Sauce Stache

      Hey James!!! Its a ton of pressure hahaha! I feel like the pressure triggers me to talk to myself a lot and work through problems I’m having while filming. It has turned into a few funny moments on the show and always keeps me on my feet!