Great non-mass produced condiments

i carry their black beans and chili sauce too
also carry the ma po but i feel they are not hot enough fo rme
always have to add chili peppers

We may carry a sauce that’s a different kind of chili crisp, made with crispy fried garlic in a chili oil base. It’s addictive!

I went to the 6th Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo in Greenpoint, Brooklyn today with my girlfriend. It was a way different experience from the Fancy Food Show I had attended in San Francisco in January. The Fancy Food Show is an industry event to which the general public are pretty much excluded and people are looking to do a lot of wholesale business. The Hot Sauce Expo, which will continue in my absence tomorrow (technically later today, Sunday), is a public event that requires only $12 and change for tickets (and I believe $10 if paid in cash at the venue). It’s also specifically devoted to hot sauce (some alcoholic drinks, milk and bottled water are also available, as are barbecue, hot dogs and a couple of other food items, but they are sidelines), and loud though not ear-splitting heavy metal music plays from the “Stage of Doom” for most of the day.

More importantly, for my purposes, there was one absolutely phenomenal vendor, at least one other terrific one and several very good ones, among the larger number of ordinary ones and a few downright bad ones (if you’re going on the last day, please trust me and do not try the crab salsa!). The mix of vendors was quite interesting, with a good representation from New York and nearby states from Massachusetts to New Jersey, others from the South (one great one is from Florida and was in the far side of the room) and West and some international ones from Australia (who had a good gingery sauce) and England. My girlfriend also enjoyed the expo as a retail customer who tried most of the same sauces I tried and a few others and bought 3 sauces.

I’m still writing up my notes about the vendors, but definitely plan to use some products from some of the best ones who exhibited today.

At the end of the show, both of us had some beer from Lagunitas, one of the exhibitors, and a blessedly non-spicy Polish meal at a food store with tables called Polka Dot (my girlfriend also bought several items to go for her 2nd-generation Polish-American mother) and then walked down to Williamsburg to have some good hot chocolate and chamomile tea at Martha’s Country Bakery. I plan to lay off the spice tomorrow, too, but it was certainly a good afternoon and a very worthwhile trip to the expo.


1 Like

Well, that’s a thought… maybe you need an anti-spice product like those handy mini korean yogurt drinks! :wink:

1 Like

Yeah, sorry. Started a new post.

[Spicy Chili Crisp Sauce Recipe from Serious Eats]

I chuckled. Having tastes of hot sauce all afternoon is a bit rough. But it’s all to benefit my customers! :slight_smile:

Hi, everyone! I’m probably overdue for an update, so here it is!

From Saturday, June 30 - Monday, July 2, I attended the Fancy Food Show at the humongous Javits Center in far west Midtown Manhattan. It was an immense show, and I spent a few hours on the first day and 7 hours apiece at the show on the second and third days.

There was huge international representation. For example, in the Italian section, which occupied two rows and then some, Cascina San Cassiano was one of the most outstanding vendors. I must have tried a dozen sauces and jams they make, and none of them was anything short of excellent. I also got to try a unique product, Peschiole al Tartufo Estivo, which are very small young green peaches without pits yet, lightly pickled in black truffle water, made by Savini Tartufi. And these are just two highlights from the Italian section.

Among the interesting American products were habanero pralines, which we may carry, and jams that are only slightly sweet and include tea in them. And then back in the international sections, there was the tomato sauce with mastic oil from Santorini, the fantastic smoked chili powder produced by the Mapuche Indians in Chile, the hot piri-piri sauces from Portugal…

Of course we can’t carry every product. Some companies require a 5-pallet minimum order for wholesale, other companies produce very good products that already have wide distribution, and others charge so much money for wholesale that we’d need to sell very expensive subscriptions to include their products (perhaps an option if there turns out to be a lot of call for that later). But there were quite a few very interesting products that we may be able to carry soon.

I had to leave town the morning after the end of the Fancy Food Show, and I am only now nearly done writing up my notes on vendors and products on spreadsheets and following up with questions about minimum wholesale orders, wholesale prices at different volumes, lead times and sometimes possible smaller sizes of sauces that normally come in large jars.

One thing that’s clear is that we will sooner or later - and probably sooner - be doing a lot of importation. We will almost definitely be importing from Japan, probably from Canada, and quite likely from some countries in Europe and South America. An excellent South African company is also in the mix, and of course we are very interested in leads some folks have given us on good bush tucker in Australia. If any of you have any insight into anything we should consider doing to make the process of importing easier and more effective, please let me know.

Other things we’ve been dealing with are purely related to starting a business: Applying to start an LLC (not too hard to do but requires a $200 payment to the state if you do it in New York, and then comes with an onerous publication requirement, to essentially advertise for 6 straight weeks in a daily and weekly newspaper of the government’s choice in the county where the LLC’s office is, although that can be in not-too-expensive Albany County if you use an agency), getting an Employer Identification Number from the IRS (also a simple process) and filling out more necessary forms. Opening a business bank account is another task that should be performed soon.

There’s more to say, but I have to get some sleep, as my other life as a musician beckons, with a 1.5-hour gig at a nursing home tomorrow (technically, this afternoon), a dress rehearsal on Tuesday and a rock concert on Thursday (if you’re interested in that, click here - I’m a guest artist and play on the title track of the new CD).

1 Like

I am a fan of Montana Mex products. So far, the ketchup and spice blends are my favorites. They sell through their website.

Mike’s Hot Honey and Bees Knees honey are good if you enjoy a honey with kick.

How mass produced they are at this time I cannot say but both were developed while the inventors were running their small food businesses. I know I cant find these products locally.

Are you going to have a retail location, or just do mail order?

Non-mass produced ketchup:

This becomes the base for boutique ketchup like garlic, chili, herb, etc. It’s a dandy base for homemade barbecue sauce.

Thanks for the product recommendations. We’ll keep them in mind as we move forward. And yes, our business will be strictly online, no physical store.

Too bad. I would have loved to drop in.

Moving forward, will you be carrying items such as saucisson?
I used to buy Olli’s salami from Costco ( they are the only store that carries Olli’s products other than the wild boar in the 11 (?) ounce larger size ) Wegman carries them in the 6 ounce but Weman’s is the only store that carries Olli’s wild boar salami .
Now, Olli does not sell it in any grocery store ( except Balducci) other than thru their internet site and some gourmet internet store. I do not think it has to be refrigerated but shipping is expensive by the time they pack it in dry ice.
Balducci does carry it but the deli manager told me that D’artagna’ns duck salami is even better for $13.99 instead of $11.99.
I do not think it has to be refrigerated. D’artagnan can sell them at discount for $59.99 for 6- 6 ounce size but s upping is expensive bec they also send it by next day express or overnight in dry ice. If it does nto have to be packed in dry ice, it might be a good product to sell

We definitely will not be carrying that kind of product at this point. We are looking at products that are in sealed packaging and shelf stable for at least a year without refrigeration before opening. There may come a time when there is so much demand for products needing refrigeration or dry ice that we will diversify in that direction, but that would probably be years down the line.

Understood. But physical stores are very expensive to rent and run, and they are much more limited in space for inventory. I like stores, too, when I want to browse or would like to buy something and take it home right away, but they really occupy a different niche than subscription boxes of great sauces and condiments curated for you.

I understand completely. But I think you will probably not be shipping to Europe, for umpteen reasons, which means I can only offer moral support.

thanks, wishing. you the best

This all sounds really exciting!! (And exhausting!) best of luck with the endless paperwork and not as much fun logistics. And of course let us know when the website goes up :))

I will let you know! We have a few more things to do before we start taking subscriptions. I hope to start within a month.

1 Like