Valley Works: Some businesses not just about money

FRESNO, Calif.

Cynthia Smith is on a mission, a mission to prevent other families from experiencing the tragedy she has.

Cynthia's hoping her homemade sauce will help her accomplish that goal.

A homemade secret recipe, a sauce Cynthia Smith has been cooking up in the kitchen for family and friends for 20 years.

"The sauce, I hear a lot of people say, it's the best sauce they've ever had," Smith said.

It wasn't long before she was being encouraged to seek out a bigger market for her secret sauce.

Smith did start selling her product at fairs and the workplace but she didn't get serious about her business until a family tragedy gave her a sense of urgency, a purpose

"After I lost my two youngest children two suicide within 18 months of each other," Smith said.

The kind of tragedy hard to imagine. Just shy of her 16 birthday, Cynthia's daughter Crasondra took her own - 18 months later Crasondra's brother, Carlos, then 14, also committed suicide

"My son was a skater, he had so much energy and life, I miss them so much their energy," Smith said.

The loss of two children so close -.the pain was almost too much for this mother to survive.

"I came out of it with a purpose a sense of I have to keep another family, sibling, friend from going through what my family had to endure," Smith said.

Cynthia turned to what she knew best her sauce, but now it wasn't about the bottom line, it was about the mission.

"With each bottle of sauce I would put a little not about suicide prevention," Smith said. "This is a passion to get the message out there and hopes that the right person at the right time will get what they need."

So wherever she can Smith will seek out an audience, customers to not only sell jars of Smitty's Secret Sauce but to tell her story

Cynthia's goal is to make enough to set up a non-profit called Siblings of Suicide Awareness. She knows all too well the pain of those left behind.

"It's not anything I wish on any parent, it's the hardest thing any parent would have to go through," Smith said.

Cynthia belongs to a group called True Women of Business and she will be selling her sauce at a holiday shopping event this Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn located in Clovis.

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