Craft Hot Sauce Podcast with Erica Diehl of Queen Majesty Hot Sauce
Erica Diehl says she was the different one. At a young age, Erica loved drawing and art and knew she wanted to end up in NYC. She arrived there for the first time when parents dropped her off for college at FIT.
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Erica says NYC embraces being different, and early in her time living in Brooklyn she found herself drawn into Jamaican music like “Rock Steady”, Ska, and older reggae. Without any thoughts of playing it for other people she began building up a record collection.
Erica said she knew she’d be doing something creatively and began taking on all types of opportunities from people she met. She was an off broadway stage manager doing lighting, was being trained as a professional makeup artist at Aveda, and ultimately landed as a graphic designer.
Her co-worker at the time, Eric, encouraged her to play her record collection with him at locations around NYC. Erica DJs under the name Queen Majesty and never says no to a gig. For Queen Majesty, it’s been all about the focus on the artists and learning more about Jamaican music, culture and of course Caribbean cuisine.
Queen Majesty was making her first batches of hot sauce at the same time. She didn’t look for a hot sauce recipe to begin, just adjusted recipes with the basics; salt, vinegar, and fresh peppers.
Her first sauce, Scotch Bonnet & Ginger, (also her favorite to make) was honed in to go with Caribbean cuisine. Queen Majesty Hot Sauce uses all fresh ingredients for all their hot sauces.
The second recipe came from the spicy margaritas that Erica was fixing up at the time. Jalapeño, Lime & Tequila, a refreshing verde hot sauce was born. Her Red Habanero & Black Coffee Sauce focuses on the habanero, but it’s balanced out with coffee infused white vinegar and sweet onions making a truly unique and wholesome flavor.
Queen Majesty Hot Sauce started selling their hot sauce attending farmers markets and going door to door, meeting buyers. By being so connected to every phase of her product and receiving feedback directly from customers, she knew there are people that would appreciate a higher quality hot sauce that is fresh, healthy, and all natural. She sought out those good fits with market grocery shops, health stores, and other partnerships and friendships like with Noah at the Heatonist.
Queen Majesty Hot Sauce now has their own facility with their office and kitchen and the hot sauces are still as delicious as I first tried them in 2016! As they continue to meet the high demand for their hot sauce, Queen Majesty Hot Sauce continues to think how they can grow in a sustainable and positive way.
You can try their hot sauce in the Craft Hot Sauce Shop. Music on the podcast by JohhnyGo Figure with “Thing Like That”.