Hot Pepper Dudes, LLC

Introduction to Starting Your Own Hot Sauce Company

I didn’t know anything about how to start a hot sauce company a little over a year ago.  What I did know was creating tasty sauces that everyone seemed to enjoy, so I figured I’d look into getting the product professionally bottled.  While searching for tips online about how to do this, I couldn’t find any start to finish articles, ebooks, or even traditional print media that described this process entirely so it took a bit of time to figure it all out.  What I’m hoping to accomplish with this blog over time is to provide aspiring sauce-makers with the information they need to get started more quickly than what I was able.  This will all be based upon my experiences, so there are certainly other approaches that could work as well.

If you are reading this, you are likely to have a recipe for a sauce or other specialty food product that everyone loves or you wouldn’t even be thinking about starting it up as a company.  The very first question you need to ask yourself is if the market really needs another hot sauce, BBQ sauce, or whatever other product you are looking to bottle.  I’d say if your product is unique, then the answer is yes.  People that enjoy these types of products are often adventurous and like to try new things.  They’ll have a “go to” sauce they use everyday but will generally be interested in trying new things.

Some questions I think you need to ask yourself before deciding that you want to start your own hot sauce company:

  • What makes my product unique?
  • Is there anything else on the market today that is so close to mine that it would be difficult to tell them apart?
  • Would my family and friends who have tried my sample batches be willing to buy the product moving forward?  (You may never actually ask them to pay for it, but helps you gauge marketability)
  • Am I willing to commit cash to getting this off the ground?
  • Understanding that this will not replace my day job in the near term, am I willing/able to commit my time on nights and weekends to work on this?
  • Will my spouse/significant other support the time and money investment?

If you’ve worked through all those questions and the answers support starting the business, then you are likely in good shape.  In reality, those are the same basic questions you’d have to ask yourself before starting any small business.  Also, you may just be considering this as a hobby in which case you wouldn’t need to be as stringent.  Just keep in mind that when you have something professionally bottled, you will end up with a lot of product!

In the next entry I’ll talk about getting your recipe ready so that you will have what you need to speak with a bottler.