“I have been lucky to work with manufacturing partners that realized early that I would not yield my dream of a clean homemade product for the sake of ease or profit.”
Like many magical inventions, Boulder Hot Sauce was born from a necessity. In 1996 I was living on what was previously a commune in Northeast Boulder. I created a garden plot on what was to be my best garden ever. Digging clay soil, amending, and watering I planted 6 pepper plants and LOTS of vegetables. In late July, ravenous grasshoppers decimated every plant on my plot. The peppers were spared (too spicy or just dumb luck?).
I prepared to make a memorable meal one night that really needed a sauce. With a newly acquired love of smoking, I thought I would roast and smoke some Poblano peppers. My Serrano peppers had ripened to a cherry red hue and along with sautéed onions, carrots, and garlic, Smokey Serrano was born. Served with a dish of Sea Bass and roasted potatoes, it was an instant hit.
Years prior I had experienced the farmers markets of Los Angeles. Fresh out of school in Southwestern Virginia, this was quite an experience. One vendor, Hector, was tired of me asking for Habaneros day after day and coordinated with his cousin to bring some back from the Yucatan peninsula the following week. I think he charged me 5 bucks for half a garbage bag full and told me that I better make them last. The fruity, yet ridiculously hot pepper never left my mind. Six months after Smokey Serrano was created I used the same techniques to tame the heat and create Harry’s Habanero.
Two years later and a lot of kitchen time under my belt, I quit my job, cashed in all my savings and began to navigate my way through the world of product manufacturing. I managed to find a team and worked tirelessly to fight for my dream of making the same product so long ago created in my home kitchen. They told me add this, add that, stretch the product yield with xanthan gum, etc. I said NO!
I have been lucky to work with manufacturing partners that realized early that I would not yield my dream of a clean homemade product for the sake of ease or profit.
I hope you will all appreciate the small batch philosophy and standards of quality that have kept our products consistent through our 18 years in business. Our goal will always be to provide a unique condiment born from one hardworking chef in Colorado. I still eat Boulder Hot Sauce every day and it still tastes like you are sitting at my dinner table 20 years ago.