Written by Delaware Sauce Company Owner Rick Ewing
Delaware Sauce Company, home of Eaglewingz brand hot sauces, is located in Seaford, a southern Delaware town. Rick Ewing, a contractor by trade, created the Eaglewingz brand during the rise of popularity of wings on appetizer menus in the 80's. Wanting a sauce for home use and not finding what was desired on the grocery shelves, Ewing concocted just the taste he was after right in his home kitchen. This first sauce, "Chesapeake Hot Sauce", was the beginning of Eaglewingz hot sauces in 1988. It was frequently requested and popular with guests at parties and special occasions for many years.
However, when a local restaurant attempted to copy the recipe, Ewing knew it was time to get this sauce in a bottle for the public to enjoy. This phase began in 2010 with an order for 20 cases of 10 oz. bottles from the West coast. After having a label designed, 10 cases of this first batch of hot sauce went in a few stores on consignment, and 10 cases were given away. It was an immediate hit with the locals. In order to get the sauce out to more people, Ewing continued to place in shops and give equal numbers of cases away. He also became a vendor and many area festivals and shows selling the sauce that was becoming very popular.
After being contacted by New York City based magazine, "Bon Appétit" for a sample for tasting, Ewing gained credibility with his sauce when Eaglewingz Chesapeake Gourmet Sauce was chosen by the magazine as the Delaware delegate in a March, 2014 article. Also in 2014, the sauce won "Best of Delaware" and was recognized by Yahoo Foods as one of the country's best new hot sauces. Sales continued to grow amidst this growing credibility.
With the opening of a retail store came a commercial kitchen for manufacturing the sauce. This allowed for expansion into private labeling. The sauce has been labeled for fundraising and even as wedding favors. However, the focus is private labeling for restaurant use. A local Texas Roadhouse liked it so much they did a private label and put it on all their tables. This was the beginning of restaurant food supply.
The World Hot Sauce Awards in Lafayette, Louisiana awarded 3 rd place in the world for "Louisiana Style" category to the original sauce in 2016. This was a great surprise to Ewing to be a winner in his first entry to the competition while being judged against the top sauces in the world. This convinced more restaurants to try it and resulted in more private labels and more table-tops for the sauce.
New hot sauces were created and marketed along with the original sauce. These, too, were a hit. The "Pineapple Teriyaki" won 1st place in the New York City Hot Sauce Expo 2017 in the fruit based sauce category. The third sauce creation, "Sauce Shack Redemption" was entered in the 2017 World Hot Sauce Awards and won 3 rd place. The credibility the sauces have gained is unbelievable! This makes them easier to sell and restaurant owners, managers, and chefs want to give them a try.
Delaware Hot Sauce Company currently has 45 private labels for restaurants in the Delaware and Maryland beach areas. The Delaware Hot Sauce Company label is in 6 markets. Eaglewingz brand sauces include: Eaglewingz Chesapeake Gourmet Sauce, Pineapple Teriyaki (fruit based sauce), Sauce Shack Redemption (Louisiana style), Chesapeake Jerk (the one and only!), Nor Easter (the hottest pepper blend), Delaware Peach (a great peach sauce), and Cayenne Cassie (aged red cayenne pepper with a touch of sweetness).