Vol. 2: PexPeppers
Extreme Biz Profiles is a series where you can learn more about Biz members' ventures while at the same time receiving a special offer! It then opens up to any questions you may have about their products, company history, industry hurdles, etc.
THE HOT SEAT
PexPeppers has had its ups and downs, and a couple times you announced you were closing up shop. I'm happy to see you back in business. What was it that helped you stay the course?
My family, friends, and fans. I was having a major case of burnout in Harrisburg. I felt like my new family (Oliver Peck was born on 12/30/16) needed a fresh slate to work with as well. So we packed up and decided Colorado is where PexPeppers was going to stay. Pueblo to be exact.
How hard was it to have to re-setup your business?
It wasn't too awfully hard actually. As soon as we landed in Denver and got settled in at the hotel near the new house, I actually registered for my LLC out here and tax license with some other odds and ends. After that I moved into my house 3 days later and had to wait for the moving company which arrived on Jan 27th, 2017 (now mind you, we moved out here on Dec 13th, 2016). After moving here I felt that there was only one way to get back on my feet and that was through Kickstarter. I raised $11,004 out of an original $7,500 goal. I was SO lucky I got that much because I was still about $2000 short to get my three main sauces made. After that I had to send samples of sauce to a process authority and then later register with FDA. I was able to get Taco Fuego, Cosmic Peach, and HornetBOMB hot sauce made in late February. Since I don't have a facility at the moment, Jay Turner of Burns & McCoy hot sauce up in Fort Collins offered to co-pack for me and I took him up on his offer. Bigger batches means a much more consistent product. Now that I have my 3 sauces back, I was able to get into 5 hot sauce shops, including one in Canada! Interest is growing every day and it's just phenomenal how many people ACTUALLY love hot sauce, particularly here in Pueblo, Colorado.
Do you have any advice for those starting out in the business, wanting to go professional?
It's entirely worth the trouble of going legitimate, I had to learn that the hard way. Also, it's not about how much heat you can pack in a bottle, it's about the flavor and respecting the chiles. Also, do your research on the actual peppers themselves and see what they actually taste like. I did YouTube reviews of various chiles before I even started saucing. Also, listen to what your customers/guinea pigs have to say about your sauces.
Are you still doing honey and pickles, and were you able to maintain the honey farm?
I am not doing honey and pickles anymore due to not having my own establishment at the moment. I wasn't able to bring all my bee supplies with me due to limited space on the horrible moving truck. Also, it pains me to tell you that Dr Peck (Founder of Dr Peck's Honey) has passed away on March 5th 2017 but he is finally at peace. I will continue his legacy but in the form of hot sauce and maybe honey again someday. He is the person who taught me how to be a businessman.
Looks like Painapple is back, what else is on the horizon?
Well Painapple will be here on May 19th, and after that I have To The Moon, KillerSWARM, and perhaps a new Verde sauce utilizing local chilies. It's funny, people only really ask me for my ultra hot stuff.
¡FIERY! QUESTION: How are you hanging in there without the Chat Room?
Haha, I am doing just fine actually. I have found that chat rooms actually kill my productivity. I spend a lot more time with my plants now.
I would also like to extend a permanent discount of 20%
your way by using the code THP20
. That code is valid for life and is applicable to single bottles of sauce (not packs). Get yours today at https://www.pexpeppers.com