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How did we start making hot sauce?

During 2016 we were selling a variety of products at the local farmers markets. We had a small range of hot sauce from a local supplier, these sauces did reasonably well. We realized there is so many different brands of hot sauce available commercially, but nothing special.

We came up with an idea, and at the time it seemed like a brilliant idea by calling our sauce "Ringsting" Not really thinking anything of it, the label was a bit kitch, but we wanted it to be fun.

Looking at it today, well; what where wee thinking? The sauce was not even that hot to start with. Shows you how much we knew about hot sauce.

Ringsting was hubby's baby. We started chatting about making more flavors, but instead of the norm, we wanted to be different, and boy, did we pull it out the hat!

I sat the one day researching recipes and hot sauce ideas. I found out that the brand we use to sell, had a plum chutney which they discontinued and that sparked the next idea, a Plum chilli sauce.

Wow, was this plum chilli sauce fantastic, it was so great, it was hotter than the bloody Ringsting. hahaha

We decided to add some more flavors to the range and stuck to the fruit flavors and added Apple and Peach.

Now we had 4 flavors, but we had to change the Ringsting name, because clearly that was not "ringsting" hot.

This is what our range looked like with the 4 flavors. Plain and simple labels.

Shortly after we started selling our 4 sauces, we realized we need more ... and more we needed.

We started making general flavors like garlic / onion / BBQ ect, all with a bit of chilli. And we needed a name. Yes, we wanted to build a brand.

One day driving back from Stellenbosch, I started talking to hubby about a name and I suggested Johnny Hexburg. Now, Johnny Hexburg has been part of the family for quite some time and it just seemed right, it worked for us. You can read here where the name Johnny Hexburg comes from.

I designed the label, which was a nightmare at the beginning, because I had no idea what I want to do and started with a photo of my son. The photo idea would make sense once you read where the name came from.

But that did not look good. I also did not want to have corny pictures on the label. The sugar skull stood out and being Mexican, I thought that would be so appropriate to use for chilli sauces.

From October 2016 when we started making sauce up to now, we have not looked back. We have learned so much about chillies and especially the super hots.

This might come to you as a surprise, but I actually do not really eat chilli.

My threshold is green tabasco. Yes, I know I am a pissie. I make the sauce and come up with ideas and recipes and hubby would taste it and say yeah or neah. He is a great help with the fine tuning with adding a bit more sugar or salt ect and his input on the ideas and flavors.

We have had some hits and misses, like our Chakalaka sauce, damn, just can't get this one right!

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