September 29th, 2017 marked 1 full year since socalhotsauce.com was launched.
I wanted to take some time to talk about some of the awesome things that happened during SoCal Hot Sauce's 1st year.
To see our backstory and why we started this company in the first place, take a look at the SoCal Story Video.
I wont go over all those details but I wall start with how I was discharged from the Marine Corps after 11 years of active service. The drawdowns kept me from being able to reenlist and I went 6 months without a job. The depression set in and it set in bad.
Eventually I acquired a job as a Correctional Officer at an NC State Prison and worked there for a year. My wife Brittany had already spent a total of 2 years alone, basically as a single mother while I was active duty. Then when I got the job as a C.O. she had to spend another year alone every night while I was working. That is not what I wanted for my family. Brittany was stressed from having to much on her shoulders, I was missing out on time with my family because I was either working or sleeping. Not the life I wanted to live.
On September 19th, 2016 at 4:45 pm I reported in for my last day as a Correctional Officer. At 5:00 the next morning I was off and Brittany and I went straight to the bottling facility where we ran the first batches of Hot Sauce and Guac Sauce.
A week later on September 29th, 2016 SoCalhotsuace.com was up and running and we were open for business.
A few milestones that are worth mentioning are:
That we won The Golden Chile, one of the top awards a hot sauce company can receive, just 4 months after we launched.
Then in April of 2017, Brittany and I were personally invited by Chip Hearn, the owner of peppers.com, to be featured front and center at the peppers.com booth at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo! We were overwhelmed with how many great brands and business owners were there. Owners of companies that make sauces we have been using for quite some time. It was unreal. With the edition of an award from the screaming mimis at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo, that made a total of TEN national awards from highly recognized organizations within the spicy food industry.
Since then, with the help of our distributors, SoCal's red sauces and Avocado sauces are slowly making their way all over the nation, and we've been getting messages from friends all over the country telling us they saw our sauce at a shop they went to!
And just recently, Brittany and I personally delivered a shipment of product to a local distributor, who is now stocking our bottled family recipes in 2 major grocery chains up and down the coast of North Carolina.
Those milestones I just mentioned are great but not the most important to me. Here is what your support for our business has done for me and my family that I value the most:
The Privilege of sharing our recipes and passion with so many people.
But most of all the most valuable thing that this business and everyone that supports it has provided is TIME. Our kids are growing fast and we are getting old. Time is something that we cannot get back.
I can be there for Brittany now, I can help the kids with their homework, I get to help coach my son's wrestling team, I can go to all of my daughter's dance recitals. My wife doesn't have to do it alone anymore and I get to part of the family again.
So thank you. Thank you to EVERYONE who has done anything to support us and our business. Whether it's by liking our page, sharing a post or letting your friends try our sauce while you tell our story, every little bit helps and we appreciate each and every one of you.
As we enter into our 2nd year, I promise that I will increase my efforts to make all of you proud and to not let your time and support go to waste.
On behalf of Brittany and myself, Thank you for backing our brand and our American Dream.
SoCal Hot Sauce "California inspired. Carolina grown."