When did you begin making hot sauce? What was your inspiration?
I started making hot sauce for my friends who love heat. I was never into very spicy food so for me it was making something out of love. As a novice sauce maker I applied my knowledge from working in the wine industry and my limited knowledge of wine making as a way to approach balancing flavours that also had heat. A few ingredients can create something really complex and delicious with the right balance. It turned out that the process is really gratifying for me and I love doing it. It’s been great to partner with one of my best friends to make the sauces and run the business. We really are one big happy family.
What is the process to create a batch of hot sauce? How long does it take?
We always start with fresh ingredients. So, prepping is probably the most labour intensive part. Peeling and shredding beets, for example, is a long process but the flavour and colour you get from the extra time you take is so worth it in the end. So, we prep from fresh and then the cooking part is really quick and we blend it all up as smooth as we can and then we bottle each bottle by hand. Start to finish we do about 50 litres in 4 to 5 hours.
What is the spiciest thing you have ever eaten?
Hmmm, the spiciest thing I have ever eaten was probably in Thailand. I love to travel and for me that means eating everything new possibly I can! It was probably green papaya salad with chilies. Once someone asked me to try their homemade hot sauce and told me after I put it in my mouth that is was just ghost chilies boiled in oil. It was very, very hot, but mostly it just didn’t have a lot of love in it. I hope people can tell how much fun we have making our sauce and how much love goes into it – love and elbow grease!
Why is supporting local important to you?
One of my favourite reasons for supporting local because I see what an amazing gift it is to my children that they know the people who make their food. It’s not something I had a concept of when I was growing up. Gardening and shopping from our friends and neighbours teaches them so much about the value of hard work, about quality and commitment and about nutrition and economics!
What do you like the most about selling at farmers markets?
I’m very grateful to be a part of the community of makers at the markets. I am inspired by everyone’s creativity and drive. We all work so hard! When I show up in the morning and see it all come together I feel a lot of pride in what I am putting out there and it’s truly gratifying when someone likes my stuff! I don’t think I will ever get over how great it feels to make something people enjoy and appreciate.