Local Love: Roasters Hot Sauce
Written + Photographed by Michelle Kwee.
Today we're excited to chat with Tara & Austin, founders of Roaster's Hot Sauce. Catch them along side 75 other independent businesses at the #FallForLocal Pop Up Market on October 22nd!
When you think of hot sauce, what is the first image that pops into your head? Probably something that’s red and solid in colour, which is seen across many popular hot sauces in grocery shops today. This is where Roaster's Hot Sauce (RHC) comes in. RHC rises from what’s expected and brings a different concept of mixing unlikely ingredients, roasting before blending and using local produce.
Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of visiting Austin and Tara, the lovely couple behind RHC. I spent my time speaking with them during their production day, and I could tell just from the few hours I spent with them, that they had a great passion for food, and especially their product.
Austin shared how he has loved eating spicy foods since he was young and how him and Tara would always talk about their aspirations to work for themselves. After years of dreaming, mixing and matching recipes, and getting great feedback from their friends and family, they decided to take that next step into entrepreneurship. Fast forward a year, and they already sell in various stores and farmer’s markets all around Greater Vancouver.
RHC currently sells three flavours: Roasted Garlic Jalapeno, Roasted Habanero Pineapple, and Roasted Carrot Habanero (and there are talks of a new Chipotle flavour coming in the future!). I’ve personally tried all of them and I can say that they’re wonderfully tasty with a unique blend of ingredients that has just the perfect amount of spiciness (each of their flavours has a different level of spiciness to cater to everyone’s varying tolerances.).
What is surprising is that their background is actually not in food at all! They are trained research scientists but because of their dreams of working for themselves, they decided to turn their hobby of cooking and their passion for food into a business (not without loads of research first though of course).
Another huge aspect of what makes RHC who they are is their use of local produce and their strong partnerships with local farmers. This allows them to not only preserve the localharvest, but support the local economy and agriculture as well. They partner with farmers such as Sole Food Street Farms, Cropthorne Organic Farm and Golden West Farms to get ingredients like habaneros, chilli peppers, jalapenos, onions and carrots.
As you can see from the photo above, they roast their ingredients before blending, something that is not seen in most hot sauces. If you look closely at their bottles, you are able to see speckles of black, which comes from their roasting process. That’s when you know it’s the real stuff!
When you’re buying a Roaster’s Hot Sauce, you’re not only paying for a great tasting hot sauce, but in a company that has a passion for what they’re doing, and a company that cares about all things local.