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Next Steps For Up & Coming Sauce Company

new hotsauce company beginner

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#1 SenzuSauce



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Posted 17 January 2019 - 11:40 PM

Hello, all. My name is Joshua Boggs and I am the owner & founder of Senzu Sauce. I am located in SE KY


January 4th 2018 I told myself I would pursue my dream of starting my own hotsauce company. I spent all of 2018 busting my ass to create a product that is shelf worthy (e.g. perfecting my recipe, designing a label, getting all my paperwork, etc.) I have been giving away/selling locally and have a small following , roughly 500 facebook likes and several loyal customers, with new customers coming in regularly; everyone that tries it falls in love with it and I would say that is pretty good. Despite all of this, I am not satisfied with what I am currently doing, probably due to my perfectionism. 


I am looking to branch out and I am determined to get this sauce in stores. My question to all of you who have their sauces on the shelves; what needs to be done and how do I do it? Okay, I'll be more specific:


1. How did you manage to get the capital needed?

2. Who do I need to talk to?

3. How did you get your costs low enough to acquire a decent profit?

4. How much do you sell the sauce for / how much do the stores sell for?

5. How does the whole co-packing process work?


These are just some of the many questions I have. I have absolutely zero knowledge on anything business related. I am (hot) winging this to the fullest extent. But there has to be people to talk to in order to make this happen. All businesses start from the bottom, but I just don't know who to talk to.


P.S- I work long & crazy hours, so sometimes I suck at replying


Thanks in advance



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#2 salsalady


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Posted 18 January 2019 - 10:57 AM


This should answer most of your questions.

Starting Capitol, most people just start small and try to fund out of your day job. If you can find a kitchen to use, make a couple gallons, sell at the farmers market, immediate cash. The hard part is not going out to dinner after the market and saving that money to make the next batch.

You will not be making a huge profit margin to start with. Buying ingredients in bulk helps, but then you are tying up money in inventory that you will be sitting on for a while. If you use fresh peppers, buy them in season for $2 a pound instead of from the store in the winter for $6 a pound. Freeze them for use later.

This is tying up Capitol also, but if it is a key ingredient, it might be worth the investment.

For costs, retail $6.99. Wholesale is $4.80. Most stores are going to want a larger margin, I just happen to be in only 1 store and they are okay with a smaller margin, local product, etc.

I can't tell you what COG is, too many different sauces. I'd never be able to support myself fully, that's for sure. But there are tons of people who do make their living slinging sauces.

I had quite a shock a couple days ago at the store. My son wanted some fire roasted sauce that takes a bunch of red bell peppers. I was going to make a 3 gallon batch, requiring about 6 pounds of bells. Store price was $4.89 a pound!!! :eek: well...looks like it will be a 1 gallon batch.

Good luck, keep at it, I like your label and logo...keep us posted.

Edited by salsalady, 18 January 2019 - 10:58 AM.

The Chile Addict's prayer-"Lord, grant me the wisdom to know it will be too hot, the courage to eat it anyway, and the serenity to accept the pain that follows. Amen"

#3 SenzuSauce



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Posted 24 January 2019 - 08:56 PM

Hi , Salsa Lady.


I'll be sure to check that link out after work. I also appreciate the reply. My main concern is getting my costs low enough. It seems to be impossible finding my bottles cheap enough. Currently using Burch, the bottles are relatviely cheap, but the shipping of course is an arm and a leg. Trying to find local bottles. I wont accept cheap generic bottles tho. I want my bottles to stand out. I just need to find cheaper wide mouth bottles. 


Another problem I have is finding bulk ingredients. I don't know where to look. Also, if I buy bulk dehydrated onions, will that effect my recipe of fresh white onions? Where should I look for habeneros, bell peppers etc? Just some of the many problems I am having.

#4 TrentL


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Posted 10 February 2019 - 02:32 AM

You're close enough to ship quickly to. I'm a commercial hot pepper grower in IL, and we grow a variety of stuff (I've got something like 280 varieties of peppers on the list this year, with main crop peppers in large QTY for various hot / ultrahot. I have a bunch of other ingredients you might want (onions, garlic, etc).


All USDA certified organic.


If you are interested and want to talk more, just PM, maybe we can work together?


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