Business Name: 1882 Fruit-Based Hot Sauce Website: N/A Established: 2017 Questions answered by: Patrick Michalishyn, Sauce Boss
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
I make hot sauces with fruits, vegetables, and vinegar; no sugars, fake colours, or emulsifiers. All-natural, no junk! The company is named after the year that the Winnipeg Fire Dept. was established (Winnipeg→ Fire→ Hot→ Hot Sauce), and each bottle of the main line has a number on it that actually corresponds with the local fire station pictured. We also come out with limited edition flavours throughout the year that get goofy with the art.
With the Winnipeg local maker community continuing to grow, what is the most important thing you’d like potential customers of your company to know?
Every time you purchase something directly from me (or any other local maker), you’re cutting out the middleman and directly supporting someone in your community while allowing them to continue creating something that people enjoy.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was hooked on the YouTube show Hot Ones and ordering tons of hot sauce online. I quit a job that I hated and couldn’t afford the hot sauce, so I made up a recipe and came up with the Mango Habanero. I shared it with friends, but it was my friend Mark, who runs the Habanero Sombrero, who nudged me into making it into a product.
I started off making 20 sets of my first three flavours (Mango Habanero, Raspberry Scotch Bonnet, and Blueberry Ghost Pepper) and posting about it on Facebook. They sold out in an afternoon! My friend Connor came over and we were trying to brainstorm ideas for a name & branding. Once the 1882/Wpg. Fire Dept. idea was said, the concept was solid and designed in under an hour. Almost five years in and I’m still having fun!
What was the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome?
It took me a few years to stop beating myself up about taking a day off from a market or coming up with content for the business’s social media account. It’s scary working for yourself – the thought of missing out on potential income when you’ve got bills to pay and ingredients to buy. I’ve become more forgiving of that because burning out and hating what I do would be a far worse option.
What has been your biggest success as a maker?
Being a part of so many peoples’ daily lives has been pretty wild; it’s opened so many cool doors. 1882 has gone on to make favours for weddings, milestone birthdays, local bands, businesses, and even a baby shower! Connecting with people who love what I do enough to make it a part of these major personal projects and events is validating & humbling.
Do you have any advice that you would pass on to someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
Do your research. Don’t cut corners. Believe in your product and stand your ground. Keep good records (ie. take pictures of receipts and learn Excel). Be genuine and don’t be afraid to let your weird self stand out.
Please share any upcoming events as well as the best place(s) for people to purchase your product!
You can easily get in touch with me about all things 1882 Fruit-Based Hot Sauce through my social media or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I sell at multiple markets every week, which I always announce on Facebook & Instagram. Look me up…I look forward to selling you your new favourite hot sauce!