The Story Behind the Sauce

Meet Ansel,
The Sauce Boss

“I am Ansel, the Sauce Boss of Ansel’s Awesome Sauce.

I LOVE hot sauce, and am ecstatic to share this full line of mouth-watering hot sauces with you.

Every bottle is a handmade creation from the start
– from my hands, to yours.”

~Ansel Cummings

About Ansel's Awesome Sauce Ansel

About Ansel’s Awesome Sauce

I know what you’re wondering about. What’s the story behind Ansel’s Awesome Sauce? Who makes it? Where is it made? How is it made, and why is it so darn good?

This all started with a search for a hot sauce that satisfied my needs for heat and flavor. I found a few that were rich with flavor, but didn’t pack any heat. A few more used pepper extract that set my mouth ablaze, but had no flavor to back it up. Too many were all vinegar, lacking depth and character. I decided to step in. 

Original home-made batches

I made my original batches with home-grown hot peppers, onions, garlic from my garden, and honey from my beehives. I shared my sauce with a few close friends, and soon they were asking me if I would please sell them a bottle. My little home garden couldn’t produce enough to share in that capacity, but this request got my wheels turning on how I might be able to.

The Red Scourge

The local farmers market was full of fresh produce, much of it grown by friends of mine. This was the place to start. I picked up pounds upon pounds of fresh local ingredients, along with dozens of different types of hot peppers. I blended these all together for my first five-gallon batch: the legendary Red Scourge. People loved it! This sauce was loaded with heat and flavor. It made their heads spin and tongues burn, leaving them wanting more. Although the original Scourge is lost to the ages (teaching me important lessons about measuring and record-keeping), my current line of sauces is a close replication.

This sauce was a turning point in my life. It made me realize I was on to something big. I needed to start producing hot sauce for sale.

 

Larger Scale Production

I decided that I needed to learn how to produce on an even larger scale. I started by taking classes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to become certified in acidified-food processing. These classes pointed me down the path required to become state and FDA approvedMy recipes needed to become formulas, specific to the gram of each ingredients, with critical pH and temperature readings done, so they could be approved by a food processing authority and submitted to the FDA. It took months to dial in the targeted flavor profile, and then be able to replicate it in large batches, before submitting my formulas for laboratory testing.

A Place to Call Home

With that out of the way, a place to make the sauce was necessary. Many hot sauce businesses give control of production to a food factory, that will develop the recipe, source the ingredients, and do all the processing and bottling. That’s not the route I wanted to take.

Handcrafting my hot sauce allows me to maintain control of production, to make sure my ingredients are responsibly sourced from small farms, which then gives support to the local economy. I’m proud to support my farmer friends who grow excellent food.

Designing My Kitchen

So to make my own hot sauce, I needed my own FDA-regulated food processing facility. I tapped into my past experience doing construction, I designed my kitchen facility, and spent a year building it entirely by myself from the ground up. This was no easy feat to do without assistance, though I found ingenious ways to effectively complete it. Once built, I then called in local plumbers and electricians to make sure everything was up to code. With that done, I had the facility inspected and approved. Time to get ready for production and sales!

 

Product Design

An awesome hot sauce deserves an awesome label. I wanted the labels to be simple, yet bold and eye-catching. My background is in art and graphic design, so I utilized my skills to design and illustrate the labels myself. To share the good news about Ansel’s Awesome Sauce with the world, and to make online sales, I needed a website. I contacted a friend who specializes in web development for wineries in California, and hired him to frame out this website, which I then created all the content for. And now, it is finished, and ready for you.

I’ve done it!!

It has taken me years to get to where I am today. Through every step along the way, there were new hurdles to be overcome. At times, the process may have been difficult and time consuming, though I did not give up on my dream. Now, thanks to the help and support of my friends, I am able to share this excellent product with you.

Since you have read the story about how Ansel’s Awesome Sauce has come to be, I hope you can appreciate the time and craftsmanship that goes into every single bottle. Purchase some bottles of this burning deliciousness to share with your friends and family, and welcome to the community.

Enjoy!

How we
support
local farms

+750 lbs
hot peppers

+800 lbs
peaches

+500 lbs carrots

+500 lbs onions

+350 lbs garlic

+600 lbs
local honey

+180 gallons apple cider vinegar

We are dedicated to supporting small farms and businesses

We source our produce from as close to home as possible, to make sure every bottle of our delicious hot sauce is made with the best quality ingredients.

Hot Sauce Made With Only Fresh Produce!

Garlic
5/5
We value good relationships within our community, and work closely with our production partners to ensure the highest quality ingredients.

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