Some Gave All

We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.” – Unknown. A fitting thought for Memorial Day.

This week’s post will be a little different.

My company, CDS International Holdings, has done a lot of different things over the years—real estate, restaurants, vitamins, men’s clothing, hotels, eco-tourism resorts, beverages (Celsius), retail ventures and the list goes on.

Our founder, the late Carl DeSantis was a visionary and a lifelong entrepreneur. He kept a note pad next to his bed because he’d wake up with an idea and he was afraid he would forget it if he didn’t write it down. I have a desk drawer full of his notes—some of which we converted into businesses.

One of his brainstorms became Tabanero, a sauce company that creates and manufactures an array of delicious sauces and rubs. CDS and the Tabanero team are committed to building a brand that we hope can be the next Celsius, which went from a small company to a global phenomenon with a market cap of over $20 billion.

For Carl, it wasn’t about the money. Carl loved the game. Could we create something that would transform the marketplace.

He did it at Rexall Sundown, where he changed the game for vitamins and nutrition. Celsius certainly upended the energy drink space grabbing market share from giants such as Red Bull and Monster.

With Tabanero, he set his sites on what he thought was a tired hot sauce category. The idea evolved into being more of a company dedicated to a variety of sauces that could add pizzazz to anything we may eat.

That’s how visionaries think and more importantly act—Carl was a man of action. We went from idea to execution quickly.

Anyway, Tabanero was something he cooked up and a talented team is giving this brand its best shot.

This Memorial Day, the Tab team is donating online sales to benefit a Marine who lost his life to cancer. I thought I’d share this effort.

Here’s the letter from the team:

“During this Memorial Day weekend, Tabañero is taking a moment to honor the sacrifices of military service members who were also leaders in the tight-knit rugby community.

This year, we are supporting the family of Sgt. Ben Williams, USMC, a courageous marine who recently ended his fight with cancer directly linked to his services in the Gulf War.

He was a loving father and leader of his community, profoundly touching the lives of those around him.

In tribute to Sgt Ben Williams, Tabañero is committing 100% of all sales made through our website on Memorial Day to his family. All Tabañero website purchases made on Monday, May 27 — Memorial Day —  will directly support the Williams family, ensuring his legacy of bravery and sacrifice continues.

Join us on Memorial Day to honor Sgt Ben Williams, USMC and all who have served our country with honor and distinction. Together, let us express our gratitude for their service and sacrifice.

Thank you for standing with us,

The Tabañero Team”

Below is a link. If you are interested, today is the day. We hope to raise significant funds for Sgt. Williams’ family.

Have a safe Memorial Day. Please remember those who gave all.

Here’s some more about Sgt. Williams.

  Sergeant Ben Williams served with dedication in the United States Marine Corps and was actively involved in his community. He passed away in February 2024 from pancreatic cancer, which was linked to his exposure to oil well fires and burn pits during the Gulf Wars. In addition to his military service, Sergeant Williams was deeply involved in the rugby community, coaching the Lady Cavaliers Rugby team and playing for the Old Breed Rugby Club, fostering a welcoming environment for every player. His influence extended beyond the field, helping students gain admission to prestigious colleges through their involvement in rugby.

Nick Bursey, Director of Coaching and Operations for the Pleasanton Cavaliers Rugby Club, expressed his admiration, saying, “Everyone should have someone like Ben in their life.”

The shared values of the military and rugby communities drive Tabañero’s initiative. Several Tabañero team members, who are rugby players, see this as a meaningful way to honor military families. The collaboration with military rugby organizations highlights the close-knit nature and commitment to support within these communities.

Bobby Linder, Chief Operating Officer of Tabañero and a retired military veteran emphasized the shared values of the military and rugby: “On the battlefield or rugby pitch, we rely on the same core values. We will never accept defeat, we will never quit, and we will never leave a comrade behind. We ask you this Memorial Day to reflect on our freedom earned by our military service members and take the opportunity not just to say thanks  but to give thanks.”

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