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Maker Stories

Sarah Marshall, a born and raised Oregonian, creates an array of handmade hot sauces that reflect her deep connection to her home. Sarah and her husband Dirk have been making and selling spicy sauces in Portland, Oregon since 2011. Hear their story on the Craft Hot Sauce Podcast.
About 12 years ago I became interested in growing food for myself and my wife. I convinced our building manager in Bronxville, New York to let me install some raised beds in the outdoor common areas. After a few successful seasons growing vegetables, I saw that one of the crops that lingered into the Fall in the Northeast was chilies.
Left Lane Pepper Company is a car- and driving-themed brand parked at the intersection of hot sauce lovers and car enthusiasts. Story written by co-owners Bernadette “Bernie” Domingo and John Stech, both based in New York City. 

Chef Chris Schlesinger joins the Craft Hot Sauce podcast. Chris was born and raised in Virginia, where he first developed his love for barbecue, spicy food, and live fire cooking.

Schlesinger has won multiple James Beard Awards for Best Chef of the Northeast, and he put Boston on the map for chiliheads in the 80's with his Inner Beauty Hot Sauce and the Hell Nights put on at his restaurant.

My first and accidental forays begun really at school eating and stealing noodles from Asian classmates.  I was addicted to noodles as a teenager and was accused by one teacher as being “the most efficient calorie burner I’ve ever met”. I didn’t necessarily associate the flavours of Korean, Chinese and Japanese noodles with heat or spice it was mostly the meat or fish flavour I was drawn too.

Cottage Lane Kitchen was founded by me in 2010, and it isn't only my business name, but also refers to a secret lane in Chapel Hill, NC where our family homestead was built in the 1950s. Four generations of my family have cooked and preserved spicy peppers out of love and tradition in that kitchen.

The last homemade batch of my family's spicy pepper relish was made by my Grandfather in the early 1990s. He grew chilies around the outside of the house and harvested and pickled them during my summer visits. I remember him watering the empty tin cans he buried beside each pepper plant. 

Normally the Craft Hot Sauce Podcast interviews hot sauce makers all over the world. This episode is more of a riff from Brian the host about some of the things his hot sauce company Craic Sauce got up this summer.

My first memories with hot sauces really came from eating amazing food growing up in the cultural melting pot of Southern California. Whether it was finding a homemade sambal or sriracha from the Mongolian BBQ or Ramen Joint, to eating a hoard of $.59 street tacos from the taqueria with their buffet of fresh salsas, peppers and heat grabbed me at a young age. I would say a ton of my influences come from emulating that fresh homemade feel into sauces that aren’t just for one particular dish, but can be used with any recipe, any time.
I (Deja) came to love hot sauce while growing up in Southern California, eating house made hot sauce from a little hole in the wall Mexican food restaurant in high school.  It was only a drive- thru but it had the best burritos and the hot sauce that I have ever had. This was the inspiration for our Morita sauce. My true love of cooking with chilies began when I became the executive chef at a boutique Thai and Indonesian fusion restaurant in Manhattan Beach California where I worked with two wonderful Thai ladies
Newks Hot Sauce is a company based out of Portland, Oregon that started right at the end of 2019, before the pandemic shook the world.  Jake Newcomb (hence the name NEWKS), started a Kickstarter campaign to get the company off the ground. The humble goal of $3,000 was hit within 24 hours, and Newcomb was able to take those funds to purchase a business license, sign up for an acidified food processor license, get business insurance, buy cooking equipment, and all the other miscellaneous startup costs. 
Tim Myers of Hot Heads Official has always loved to create. From drawing in his younger years to crafting his line of hot sauces, Tim has always shown a knack for creativity.
It’s been almost 16 years since TorchBearer Sauces sprung to life through heat-loving friends and their homemade hot sauces.

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