Bronx Hot Sauce Story

July 16, 2016

bronx hot sauce

Written by Bronx Hot Sauce Owner Daniel Fitzgerald

How We Started

Bronx Hot Sauce started as a collaboration between three partners: Small Axe Peppers, whose central philosophy is embodied by a Bob Marley lyric “if you are the big tree, let me tell you that / we are the small axe, sharp and ready” and the belief that large societal problems become solvable when everyone works together to do their small part; GrowNY, which for more than 40 years, has been building and sustaining community gardens, urban farms, school gardens, and rainwater harvesting systems across New York City; and Bronx Green-Up, the community gardening outreach program of The New York Botanical Garden, who provides horticulture education, training, and technical assistance to Bronx residents, community gardeners, urban farmers, local schools, and community organizations.

Small Axe Peppers Hot Sauces are unique. More than 30 Bronx community gardens grow the serrano peppers which makes this delicious hot sauce. Each bottle you buy directly supports the gardens and gardeners who grow these serrano peppers.

Our Operation and Most Popular Sauce

GrowNYC donates and distributes pepper seedlings to participating Bronx community gardens each spring. Community gardeners dedicate a small portion of their gardens to cultivating serrano pepper plants. Bronx Greenup provides technical growing assistant to gardeners and along with GrowNYC coordinates the collection of peppers from gardens throughout the growing season. Chef King Phojanakong created a signature New York recipe using only six ingredients, without additives or articial preservatives, to cook these peppers into the original The Bronx Hot Sauce. Retailers, committed to locally sourced products and sustainable community development projects, carry The Bronx Hot Sauce in their stores. Your purchase directly fund the gardens and the growers.

Small Axe Peppers Hot Sauce was created by King Phojanakong, a NYC native whose culinary influences began at home with the inspirational cooking of his Filipino mother and Thai father. He wanted to create a hot sauce for people who actually want to taste their food, not just overwhelm it with heat. The Bronx Hot Sauce original signature green-verde flavor has only six all-natural ingredients, without additives or artificial preservatives. 

What each bottle sold means for the Bronx

This truly a green product: the hot sauce is green, the serrano peppers are green, and most importantly, because of your purchase, the Bronx is a little bit more green. We source the serrano peppers that we use to make the Bronx Hot Sauce from over 30 community gardens in the Bronx. The Bronx Hot Sauce is made exclusively from serrano peppers, hotter than poblanos, but milder than habaneros. They originally come from the Mexican highlands, which combines the dry arid air of Mexico with cool mountain air. They are perfectly suited for the climate in the Bronx. We think of them as the goldilocks of peppers.

Small Axe Peppers Hot Sauce is primarily a community development project dedicated to developing and maintaining community gardens and green spaces throughout the Bronx. In addition, it is delicious. Our hot sauce has only six ingredients, without additives or preservatives so it’s always natural and fresh. Lastly, Small Axe Peppers Hot Sauce is more savory than other hot sauces, allowing you to actually taste your food without simply overpowering it with spice.

Social - @SmallAxePeppers
Bronx, New York

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Maker Stories

hoots sauce co story
Bruce from Hoots Sauce Co. on fire-roasted fermented hot sauce - Podcast

November 10, 2021

Continue Reading

cottage lane kitchen story
Cottage Lane Kitchen Story

November 03, 2021

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. 

Continue Reading

row of pepper plants
A riff on a busy summer and pepper harvest season from Brian at Craic Sauce - Podcast

October 28, 2021

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.

Continue Reading