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Maker Stories

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. 

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.
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. 
David shares his entrepreneurial journey starting Seed Ranch Flavor Company in 2017 in Boulder, Colorado. Topics discussed on the podcast include what happens when your hot sauce gets on Season 11 of the show "Hot Ones", and how David creates and launches new flavors.
Our hot sauce journey was long in the making. The Geverd family had been playing with hot sauce recipes for a few years with the idea of someday producing commercially. The stars aligned when the family bought an old German farmhouse that came with a sizable acreage that had been used for conventional ag. Around the same time Cheyne Geverd made a decision to pivot his career from doing geological work for oil companies overseas to being a farmer. He took seasonal jobs with local produce farms to learn the skills, and at one of these farms met Fiona Palumbo, his eventual partner, whose background also included cooking and (very small scale) hot sauce making.
Matt and Catharine were in Costa Rica when they first experimented making flavorful hot sauces. Later on they moved to Salem, Oregon where they started Hoss Soss; a hot sauce with heat you can handle.

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