Great non-mass produced condiments


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).

(Dan) #102

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?

(Dave Skolnick) #104

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

Policy on promotional posts

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.


Hi, everyone! I’m way overdue for an update. First, I want to tell you all a little about the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, which my brother/partner and I attended in January. It was exhausting but not nearly to the extent of the way larger show last summer in New York, and it helped a lot that the two of us were working together this time. It was interesting to see the trends in the food industry. There are a lot of products now that are low-sugar or have no sugar added, including hot sauces and jams, organic is in, and there was also an emphasis on gluten-free products from purveyors of foods for which that’s relevant - and some for which it’s not.

Some highlights: Cane Land has a big sugar cane plantation in Louisiana and makes fantastic dark and spiced rums and wonderful rum cake. They don’t make hot sauce or condiments, but they do make spiced rum pecans that are a nice snack. There were several other purveyors of delicious flavored peanuts and other nuts - a personal favorite was the Everything Goes Nuts by Bobby Sue’s Nuts from Chappaqua, New York, whose flavoring is meant to be like everything bagels, but I like it more than those. There was another booth giving pours of excellent Italian red and white wines. Of course it’s a good idea not to drink too much wine and rum while you’re working, and we didn’t! We also tried some rich dark chocolates made with hot peppers. We enjoyed the Sardinian cheese booth - Pecorino Sardo is a very good cheese. And Essendorfer, the Bavarian company I mentioned last winter, came back to the San Francisco Fancy Food Show with a whole bunch of additional products, all of which were excellent.

There were a couple of organic hot sauce makers we liked that are making sauces with only a few ingredients that really depend on flavorful peppers, and the ones we liked best are made by a vineyard in Napa that also grows their own unusual hot peppers. They were funny - their hot sauces weren’t displayed, because they were emphasizing other products like flavored olive oils and wines, but when we asked them if they had anything else, they said “We have some hot sauces, if you’d have any interest in that.”

Also while visiting San Francisco, I tried a bunch of sauces my brother picked up on trips to Europe and Japan. We particularly liked a number of sauces from Japan. For example, we loved a condiment of fried onions and garlic with chili, a roasted red chili soy sauce, a seven spices miso with kombu and a crunchy, garlicky wasabi oil furikake sauce, meant to be used to flavor rice.

I also have a bit of fairly exciting news: We just started advertising on Facebook. Right now, our main aim is to determine which of a number of possible company names seems to be most popular, but because we tested 4 ads against each other, we also have had somewhat of a chance to compare their effectiveness in attracting people to go to our landing page and leave their emails for us to contact them when we’re sending out information about subscriptions. We also have the lineup of products for our first deliveries to our subscribers planned out. When we’re ready to take subscriptions, I’ll post a link to the URL here, for anyone who might be interested. Wish us luck in continuing to advertise and try to find customers for our subscription service!


Wishing you luck!

Can you say what’s the name of the place in Napa with the hot sauce with flavorful peppers?


Were the hot sauces from the Clif Family Winery? We have friends who used to live in Napa, and they would buy them for us when they were at Clif. Really good, but hot!


Whaoh…! Sign me up for this!!
Definitely keep us updated, hope all your time and energy pays off


Glad to hear things are heading in the right direction :slight_smile:


Yes, they’re the ones! Folks here are really sharp and knowledgeable! That’s why I love this site. :smile:


Thanks for your good wishes! I’ll post more information before long.