I've always been a hot sauce and spicy food lover, but I could never quite find just the "right" sauce for my tastes, so I started making my own for myself and family. After a while I started to get offers from strangers to buy my sauces so I started a small business from that.
Our company is small scale and is being run by myself, my wife and also our older children chip in from time to time. We manage this business part-time. Over time we have developed a very unique flavor profile unlike most of the other mass-produced hot sauces by using fresh ingredients including peppers (duh!) onions, garlic, and herbs. All of our sauces are made by hand in small batches to ensure the same great tastes for each and every batch we make.
We chiliheads LOVE our sauces!! I learned that not all peppers are created (or grown) equal. When I first started making sauces I realized that sometimes stores will sell peppers with different heat profiles, so one batch of fresh jalapeno peppers may not be as hot as the last batch purchased from the same store. To overcome this we adjust the number of peppers used in each batch of hot sauce until the "correct" heat level and flavor is reached. No sauce is bottled until I personally taste it for quality and consistency. My advice to small-batch hot sauce companies like myself is to love what you do and do it well.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
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.