To make a hot sauce, there is a refined process that combines different spices, peppers, and other flavorful ingredients.
Spicy Boys makes some of those hot sauces. One is the smoked peach sauce, a mix of sweet and spicy.
“The base of all our sauces is onions,” said Dylan Gaudet, owner of Spicy Boys.
“We add whatever spices or herbs we are using and then add sugars to help break down and caramelize the onions. We add whatever product we are using. Usually after that, we use vinegar and liquids, and let things cook for a bit.”
Then the peppers, hot peppers.
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But those peppers, which include the Carolina Reaper and the Scotch Bonnet, have been hard to come by amid ongoing supply chain issues and the impacts of climate change in places like California.
This is the third year of a drought in California causing problems for growers supplying primarily produce for Canada and the US.
Some of these peppers are typically found in warmer climates within North and South America.
“Having hot peppers as a hot sauce company is an integral part of our success,” said Gaudet.
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Gaudet said there are logistical issues, especially for small companies that may need to find connections that don’t exist like there are for larger companies.
“There are still a lot of problems to be solved,” he said. “Fortunately we are starting to get our legs under us. We still have a hard time finding Scotch Bonnets, which is the main pepper in our most popular hot sauce, Smoked Peach.”
Gaudet said a shortage of hot peppers has forced him to cancel some market appearances due to lack of supply. The shortage is also affecting the company’s philanthropic activities.
One sauce, Vicious Veteran, whose proceeds support Soldier On, a program that aids the recovery of sick and injured members and veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces by providing resources through sport, recreation and creative pursuits, is nearly out of stock.
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Although there are challenges, Gaudet said he hopes the potholes can be ironed out over time, in hopes of avoiding any price increases.
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The pepper shortage is affecting some big-name brands like the Sriracha hot chili sauce produced by Huy Fong Foods. But the Spice Boys hope to step into that gap.
“We are happy to fill the void,” he said in an interview on Saturday. “I think it’s really important that people give us a chance, more than ever. Because if you are a fan of hot sauces, and sriracha is one of the hot sauces you use. You’re going to have to change it. So why wouldn’t you switch to a company that is local to you, that has all the drive and motivation to really go out there and crush it?
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