co-packer Are There Small Companies That Will Make Your Hot Sauce For You?

Greetings,
 
I have never really looked into it, but I always wondered if there are companies where if you tell them what you want in a hot sauce - they will make it for you for a reasonable fee. I don't mean mass production unless of course you invent something amazing, but like a case of 6 to 8 bottles just to see if what you have in mind actually tastes good when it's professionally all put together.
 
Does anyone know what type of companies I should be looking for on Google for example or do anyone know of any companies that do this - Canada if possible.
 
Thank you very much.
 
FW
 
:rofl:
 
Spot on as always SL - Freewheeler also said the kitchen would make other stuff, like soups and other custom things.
 
It completely disregards the staging, set-up, cook time, break down and cleaning of the kitchen for each thing they make. 
 
But if Freewheeler wants to pay $15/bottle for 5 oz of custom sauce, hey, have at it. But I don't think it's a very viable business model considering there are 10,000 kinds of hot sauce and every one of them much less expensive. ;)
 

salsalady

Business Member
And I do have to reiterate what ^^^ LDHS said about regular processing kitchens kitchens not wanting to deal with 2 gallon batches.  Scott is right that the kitchen has to set up the same for a 5 gallon batch as a 50 gallon batch.
 
I'm speaking from my situation of having my own small kitchen and not doing copacking as a norm.  But if someone wants to pay the price...
 
There are tons of tiny kitchens all around that a person just has to look for.  Find someone in your local area that is making hot pickled peppers, a pepper jelly, a salad dressing....maybe they'd want to do a project like a hot sauce.  There's several small food procesing businesses in our area that (if I wasn't here) might do a project like this.  The Mazama Store has a full kitchen that I know a salsa and a candy persons have used, there's a fruit stand down the valley that sells things at the FM, there's a business that makes and sells tamales at the FM out of some facility in a town down the valley....
 
It didn't sound like Freewheeler was looking to go into business with the sauce, just wanted a sauce that was tweeked to his own personal preference. 
 
salsalady said:
It didn't sound like Freewheeler was looking to go into business with the sauce, just wanted a sauce that was tweeked to his own personal preference. 
 
Right - it sounds like Freewheeler wants to order up a small batch of hot sauce, like calling to order a birthday cake or a pizza. 
 
It's a great idea - it would be fantastic to have that service. Hell, I'd love that have "sauce-o-matic" on speed dial.
 
But IMO it's not very realistic. I believe the kitchen would still have to have the sauce inspected since Freewheeler is the end user and the kitchen made it for Freewheeler, no?  I'm pretty sure in CA they'd still see that as a shelf stable AF/LACF product that required sequestration/inspection.  I could be wrong - happens all the time. ;)
 

salsalady

Business Member
WA doesn't have that sequestration/inspection stuff to deal with. 
 
As I see it- As long as it's not for sale, it's a private run for only the buyer...I dunno what would be required for inspections from WA state.  For my kitchen, if the person was here, I would consider it as a consultation situation.  I would be consulting with the person to make the sauce.  If the buyer was not here in person, and I was making the sauce for them, it could be considered a "test batch".  Until the sauce is submitted to all the AHJ's and is approved for sale, it's a test batch/sample/prototype.  Definitely need to make sure the sauce is all up to all standards, but whatever the buyer does with the test batch after they have it is up to them.  Eat it all themselves, give it away to friends and family for review/critique as a possible business product....???  
I'm playing Devils Advocate to a point, but I'm also not about paying the gobernment for stuff they don't need to deal with. 
 
It's a good question and I'm gonna contact my state inspector just to find out what their stance is on making single run batches for a private client and also prototype test batches.
 
 
I'm definitely not looking to get into the 1-gallon batch business!   
 
I guess I didn't view hot sauce making as being any different than the mom and pop place down the street that makes and sells other kinds of sauces, soups, dips and condiments - both their own recipe and custom orders. Especially if the kitchen has the capabilities to make any other kind of sauce.
 
Yes - I wasn't looking to sell the sauce, unless of course everyone I know was telling me that I should because it's best thing they have ever tasted. I am just a guy willing to pay money to have someone make a sauce for my personal use. I like the convenience of having it made and already bottled for me.
 
To clarify as well - any sauce that I would want to create, would really just be altering/improving on an existing product with few more ingredients, so no kitchens are going to be blowing up due to an extensive list of ingredients that may not mix well together.
 
I should point out that I live in Canada, so I don't know if the laws are any different.
 
I suspect though with enough Google searching or various hot sauce forum asking - someone will happily take my money to make my sauce. I was just expecting that there was a slew of mom and pop/independent kitchen food service companies that do this per a dozen bottles or something.
 
By the way - what about the guy who sells his own hot sauce at a farmers market. I am quite sure no one inspected his kitchen or the sauce, but he made a hot sauce - bottled it and sold it at a farmers market right next to Aunt Mable's Jam and Preserve stand.
 

salsalady

Business Member
RE- FM sauces- 
Aunt Mable's Jams and Jellies are a low risk food and can be made in home kitchens, with proper permitting per local regulations, under the Pickle Bill or Cottage Industry Bill.  Those bills allow making and selling of low risk foods like high sugar jams, jellies, baked goods, bread, cookies, fruit pies (NO CREAM PIES OR MERENGUES), pickles and other low risk foods.  Hot sauces, acidified foods, anything that requires pressure canning are always NOT allowed to be made in home kitchens. 
 
In most states, sauces can be made in commercial kitchens (I don't know of any state that allows commercial sales of sauces made in a home kitchen), and sales can be within the state where they are made with minimal regulation and such.  The sauces still have to be tested and approved by a PA for pH and such, the sauce can only be sold within the state (not across state lines). 
 
Said commercial kitchen can be anything from a community kitchen to grange hall, church kitchen, restaurant after hours.....
 
Even with those above listed commercial kitchens, processors can get licensed to make their sauce in those kitchens and also get licensed to sell across state lines and on the internet.  Just because they are a small sauce maker at a FM does not mean they are making the sauce in their home kitchen.  Most FM's are in sync with food processing regulations regarding shelf stable processed foods like hot sauces and the corresponding regulations. 
 
Another aspect of the Mom-n-Pop place is...if it's a restaurant/Fruit stand or other that is selling their own salad dressing/sauce/whatever....they are a licensed kitchen already.  Regulations differ as to what is required for them to sell their own house-made sauce in-house depending on where they are, it's up to the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction).  It's different for someone else to use their facilities to make a non-house sauce.
 
And it comes back to ...yes...there are a bunch of small kitchen processors out there making their own stuff in their own kitchen.  Most of them don't even know what a copacker is, let alone want to be one.  Those commercial kitchens that are commercial copackers are not interested in dealing with a 2 gallon batch.  Not gonna happen. 
 
Regulations are definitley different for CA and other countries -v- US. 
 
If you know of a local restaurant that is making and selling their own house-made sauces, I'd cultivate a relationship with them and maybe at some point in the future, ask them to work with you to make a sauce, offer to compensate them for their kitchen time and expertice.  See where it goes from there...
 
salsalady said:
RE- FM sauces- 
Aunt Mable's Jams and Jellies are a low risk food and can be made in home kitchens, with proper permitting per local regulations, under the Pickle Bill or Cottage Industry Bill.  Those bills allow making and selling of low risk foods like high sugar jams, jellies, baked goods, bread, cookies, fruit pies (NO CREAM PIES OR MERENGUES), pickles and other low risk foods.  Hot sauces, acidified foods, anything that requires pressure canning are always NOT allowed to be made in home kitchens. 
 
In most states, sauces can be made in commercial kitchens (I don't know of any state that allows commercial sales of sauces made in a home kitchen), and sales can be within the state where they are made with minimal regulation and such.  The sauces still have to be tested and approved by a PA for pH and such, the sauce can only be sold within the state (not across state lines). 
 
Said commercial kitchen can be anything from a community kitchen to grange hall, church kitchen, restaurant after hours.....
 
Even with those above listed commercial kitchens, processors can get licensed to make their sauce in those kitchens and also get licensed to sell across state lines and on the internet.  Just because they are a small sauce maker at a FM does not mean they are making the sauce in their home kitchen.  Most FM's are in sync with food processing regulations regarding shelf stable processed foods like hot sauces and the corresponding regulations. 
 
Another aspect of the Mom-n-Pop place is...if it's a restaurant/Fruit stand or other that is selling their own salad dressing/sauce/whatever....they are a licensed kitchen already.  Regulations differ as to what is required for them to sell their own house-made sauce in-house depending on where they are, it's up to the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction).  It's different for someone else to use their facilities to make a non-house sauce.
 
And it comes back to ...yes...there are a bunch of small kitchen processors out there making their own stuff in their own kitchen.  Most of them don't even know what a copacker is, let alone want to be one.  Those commercial kitchens that are commercial copackers are not interested in dealing with a 2 gallon batch.  Not gonna happen. 
 
Regulations are definitley different for CA and other countries -v- US. 
 
If you know of a local restaurant that is making and selling their own house-made sauces, I'd cultivate a relationship with them and maybe at some point in the future, ask them to work with you to make a sauce, offer to compensate them for their kitchen time and expertice.  See where it goes from there...
 
But you do acknowledge that there are people selling hot sauces "illegally' at Farmers Markets and the like right. If someone showed up at a church bazaar with a hot sauce - I really don't think the food police would crack down on them unless people got sick. If people are selling drugs illegally, I am quite sure people are selling "illegal" hot sauce and if people like it, they will come back for more.
 
I do know some restaurant cooks and have the put the word out - I will let you know what they say.
 
Canadian laws are different than US law.

It would be impossible to say who's legal or not.

I sell at farmers markets and my market org has inspection and manufacturing license docs form my kitchen. They also have proof of my car and liability insurance.

Canada may be totally different - I have no idea.

But for the US, no one is selling illegal sauce at the markets I do. The market orgs I'm in both hace a zero tolerance policy for illegal products too much liability.
 
Just in my limited time on this forum, I have read a few times where sauce makers at local farmers markets have gotten inspected by the health department to insure they had all the proper documentation to show the sauce was made up to code.
 

salsalady

Business Member
Scoba_Steve- thanks for the comments, the pineapple comment was a poke at LDHS.  He used to enter Throwdowns and every one had grilled pineapple.  :lol: 
 
 
Freewheeler said:
 
But you do acknowledge that there are people selling hot sauces "illegally' at Farmers Markets and the like right. If someone showed up at a church bazaar with a hot sauce - I really don't think the food police would crack down on them unless people got sick. If people are selling drugs illegally, I am quite sure people are selling "illegal" hot sauce and if people like it, they will come back for more.
 
I do know some restaurant cooks and have the put the word out - I will let you know what they say.
 
I know there are people selling illegally, on the internet, probably at some smaller or less regulated FM and bazaars, etc, I saw some at a huge Barter Faire last year.  Doesn't make it right. 
 
What Scott said is true for most regulated FM.  All FM in WA that are part of the state FM association have zero tolerance, every person selling there, whether it's eggs, hot sauce, apples or haggis are properly licensed.  The FM here in the valley is not part of the state association and I know that sometmes people sell things (like eggs) that are not licensed.  The FM market master is a joke, doesn't even know what licenses someone is supposed to have, let alone enforce them.  I used to be on the FM board and tried to get some changes put in place, but you can't push a wet noodle, so I gave up.  There's a fruit stand that sells at the market.  They bring fruit (duh! :lol:) and baked goods like scones.  If they showed up with a hot sauce, the market master wouldn't even bat an eye.  But I know that they should of had the sauce sent to a PA, tested and approved, etc etc...I wouldn't say anything unless something was really wrong or something about the sauce raised red flags.  Maybe make a mention to the person at the stand.  At least they are using a commercial inspected kitchen.  Same goes for the tamale people who are selling mason jars of salsa.  It's probably not been through a PA, but whatever...It's a jarred salsa, with vinegar, don't know if it's BWB or pressure canned...but again, at least they are using a commercial kitchen.
 
 
 
There was a person selling hot sauce on the internet and getting reviews from a lot of high profile hot sauce reviewers on some other forums.  It was pointed out that the person wasn't legal.  The reviewers' attitude was..."doesn't matter, this guy is a great guy, theres' no way he'd sell anything bad."  here's the story......yea, real great guy....and they ate that stuff!
 
salsalady said:
Scoba_Steve- thanks for the comments, the pineapple comment was a poke at LDHS.  He used to enter Throwdowns and every one had grilled pineapple.  :lol: 
One TD had grilled pineapple! One! (1!)

The burger was epic and had grilled pineapple.

Another burger I made did not have grilled pineapple, and my veggie burger (with panko, orzo noodles, lentles and shredded carrot) was 1. Awesome and 2. Pineapple free!

That said, I would make sweet sweet love to grilled pineapple given the opportunity. I wub me some grilled pineapple.
:D


...as for that dude - perfect example of why consumers should be behind legal sauce makers and demand professionalism from the people who make their food.

Dead animals and feces, with a side of child abuse :::shudders:::
 

salsalady

Business Member
:lol:  I like my version of the TD's better... :lol:
 
 
I do want to say that I totally support hobby sauce makers.  I trade with them, sometimes buy from them to help pay for shipping.  But it is with full knowledge that it is a hobby sauce and they are not selling it or promoting it as a legal sauce.  It's those people who are presenting and selling their sauce as a legal sauce that gets me going. 
 
 
Anyway, hope this discussion helps Freewheeler find someone or some place to help make his sauce.
 
salsalady said:
:lol:  I like my version of the TD's better... :lol:
:rofl:

All good - at least I'm known for something. ;)
 
 I do want to say that I totally support hobby sauce makers.  I trade with them, sometimes buy from them to help pay for shipping.  But it is with full knowledge that it is a hobby sauce and they are not selling it or promoting it as a legal sauce.  It's those people who are presenting and selling their sauce as a legal sauce that gets me going.
Ann, I think it's well known around these parts that you're consistently the most helpful and supportive pro out there when it comes to offering guidance and advice to hobby makers.

There's no doubt that even though I was close to launching when i joined this community, it would have taken me another year to launch my gig had it not been for your amazing insight. And even if it didn't take longer, I would have tripped over myself dozens of times doing the sort of thing that everyone does and learns from the experience - but because of your generosity I was able to learn from your experiences instead.

So thank you yet again for all you do for this community & for hobby sauce makers. :cheers:

Revisiting that topic it's unreal that someone would spend so much effort arguing with you and ranting about agenda-based nonsense. I guess that's why the special forum got created. Every other response was odd to say the least.
:D
 

salsalady

Business Member
and back at'cha!
thank you yet again for all you do for this community & for hobby sauce makers. :cheers:

:D          
 
salsalady said:
and back at'cha!
thank you yet again for all you do for this community & for hobby sauce makers. :cheers:

:D          
 
Pssssht. I'm just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or wherever.. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: "Did little demons get inside and type it?" I don't know! My primitive mind can't grasp these concepts. 
 
If you want illegal sauces they're all over eBay. Any one who does that though is just asking to have their rear end dragged through the ringer. Only take One person getting sick or God forbid to die and life as they know it is over! It's not worth it! Every sauce seller I've ever seen selling at a FM or anywhere else has been above reproach.

FYI, the first Brew Down just started on Friday I. The Homebrew threads
 
RocketMan said:
If you want illegal sauces they're all over eBay. Any one who does that though is just asking to have their rear end dragged through the ringer. Only take One person getting sick or God forbid to die and life as they know it is over! It's not worth it! Every sauce seller I've ever seen selling at a FM or anywhere else has been above reproach.

FYI, the first Brew Down just started on Friday I. The Homebrew threads
not to mention the substantial fines for selling a non-approved AF/LACF product.

Not sure if prison is on the table but I know the fines are prohibitive.

I've heard from a few of those folks over the years a sort of end justifies the means philosophy. "I'm selling sauce to make $ to go legit".

Get caught with illegal interstate commerce of a regulated product and their grandchildren will be paying their fines still.

Just so not worth it. The cost of doing it right is pennies on the dollar comparatively.
 
RocketMan said:
If you want illegal sauces they're all over eBay. Any one who does that though is just asking to have their rear end dragged through the ringer. Only take One person getting sick or God forbid to die and life as they know it is over! It's not worth it! Every sauce seller I've ever seen selling at a FM or anywhere else has been above reproach.

FYI, the first Brew Down just started on Friday I. The Homebrew threads
 
One's ass could explode from hot sauce sold at your local grocery store from a name brand, but is illegal hot sauce death really a thing?

salsalady said:
:lol:  I like my version of the TD's better... :lol:
 
 
I do want to say that I totally support hobby sauce makers.  I trade with them, sometimes buy from them to help pay for shipping.  But it is with full knowledge that it is a hobby sauce and they are not selling it or promoting it as a legal sauce.  It's those people who are presenting and selling their sauce as a legal sauce that gets me going. 
 
 
Anyway, hope this discussion helps Freewheeler find someone or some place to help make his sauce.
 
I do appreciate your help.
 
I thought everyone and their grandmother was making their own hot sauce and selling it online. I didn't realize that there were hot sauce police so to speak.
 
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