Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
KP: Hi I am Kevin Peake, one of the co-founders of Tabanero Hot Sauce.
MW: What made you get into the food business?
KP: I have always had a passion for spicy foods, but never liked any of the main stream hot sauce brands. They were all vinegar based and while they did provide some heat, I did not enjoy the flavor and I felt it over powered my food. So we had a dream of developing a “Flavor enhancer with a kick” … A hot sauce that was hot but also tasted good, as a matter of fact, was the most flavorful hot sauce in the world and Tabanero Hot Sauce was born!
MW: How did your product came about?
KP: Developing Tabanero and making it available was much harder then we anticipate and ended up taking years! We wanted to create the “fine wine of hot sauces” not your traditional Louisiana style hot sauce. So we went down to the Yucatan and settled in Tobasco, Mexico where the land is extremely fertile because it gets the most rainfall in the region. We starting developing Tabanero and just when we were about ready for production, a hurricane came through and flooded the entire region, including all of our crops! This was about a 2 year set back, but we helped rebuild the community and in 2010 we finally had our first shipment of official Tabanero in the US and ready to put it to the test.
MW: How many different lines of product do you have?
KP: Tabanero comes in an 8oz bottle & gallon container. We also have a Bloody mary mix that is delicious. People were using Tabanero to make Bloody Marys so much, that we just decided to make it.
MW: Do you have any other products coming out?
KP: The hot sauce industry is very difficult to break into, as it is dominated by the big boys (Tobasco, Franks, Tapatio, etc) who have been around for decades. So we are still considered a small company and are just focusing on our core product Tabanero Hot Sauce before we begin branching out with line extensions. The next product we will come out with will be different heat heat levels of Tabanero.
MW: Where can consumers find your product in the store?
KP: Tabanero is mostly available in restaurants and on our website http://www.tabanero.com. We do not sell in many retailers yet, as our focus is to make it available in as many restaurants as possible so people have the opportunity to try it and become fans, then we will soon be selling it in retail.
MW: Can consumers buy it from your website?
KP: Yes, people can buy it at http://www.tabanero.com and for orders within the US they will receive free shipping when they buy 4 or more bottles.
MW: Do you do food trade show?
KP: Yes, we do food shows with our distributors, US Foods & Cheney Brothers. They have been amazing as it gives us the opportunity to met the consumers first hand as they buy our product and it is so encouraging how much people love Tabanero. They are excited to find a hot sauce that is so different from what the “norm” has become.
MW: How have they gone for you?
KP: The food shows have been great and we always end up selling a lot of hot sauce there!
MW: What do you see in the future for your company?
KP: Hot sauce is actually on of the top 10 fastest growing industry in the world and we envision Tabanero creating a new division within the industry. The fine wine of hot sauce, a truly quality product.
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
KP: At the end of they day, we just want to create a product that people love, our tag line is SPREAD THE SPICY LOVE and we hope people will continue to do just that … try Tabanero and then Spread the Spicy Love!