The only thing left out, I suppose, is the water we use to make coffee from those fire-roasted fair trade organic beans. But we do not add any water to our sauce, opting instead for more flavorful liquid like coffee or Swedish liqueur, or relying on the natural juices from peppers and pineapple. The point is that our sauce does not contain any additives, any thickeners, any anything that isn’t in that picture. We hand select fresh produce, and purchase only the highest quality of processed ingredients. This means that our dried peppers are dried locally at the Mexican grocer down the way, and that our miso is shipped in from a company in North Carolina that makes organic miso in-house. Our sauce is vegan, gluten-free, and allergy friendly. Unless you’re allergic to soy... you definitely should avoid the miso sauce, if so.
Not only do we hand select our ingredients, but we prepare every single bottle by hand. Every ounce has been produced by just us. Every bottle has been bottled by just us. Every label has been applied by just us. The packaging and shipping however are more of a team effort that enlists the (usually) willing participation of our partners.
The point is that we are small scale. Small batch. And committed to the idea that a product is more than a product.
You see, for the WMBz, making hot sauce is a philosophical endeavor. What I mean is that a bottle of sauce is never just a bottle of sauce, but a singularly unique and peculiar convergence of particular materials and human labor (peppers grown and harvested from a particular farm, a particular bottle designed and produced by particular people, etc.). Our hope is that you might be able to experience our sauce as more than itself, as something singular and unique. We include a batch number on each bottle because we want to emphasize the fact that our sauce is inherently subject to variation: we use honest ingredients that are a part of this dynamic reality we find ourselves in, which means they are not homogeneous or eternally the same. Down with the always-the-same, with the laboratory tricks that aim to conceal the radical contingency of our world!
The sourcing of ingredients has been an interesting journey for da boyz. Business stuff is weird. You see, while we like to go hyper local and/or sustainable with our own cooking, producing sauce on a commercial level makes staying local challenging, for at least a couple reasons. One is that not that many local farms have hundreds of pounds of peppers just lying around whenever you need them (and as a very young company we do not yet have a super accurate idea of our sourcing needs). Another is that produce is as nature as you can get, and nature is cyclical. Making sauce from fresh peppers in the middle of Illinois at the start of spring is only possible thanks to networks of regional, national, and international supply chains.What’re a couple of weird meat boyz to do?
We are staying as local and sustainable as possible while looking for ways to become even more community focused. We are currently working out a deal with a regional produce supplier in town, and once we start selling at farmers markets we will make a point to find farmers who share our values and work with them to build our own network of suppliers.
Obviously the ideal option would be to farm it all ourselves. Sadly we lack the real estate. We have, however, purchased a sizable plot in town this season, which we hope to use to grow some experimental peppers. If those survive, we plan on making limited batches of off-the-wall sauces later this summer. Real melt-your-face-off stuff. Like melt your face off from flavor. Well, also heat probs.
In the spirit of transparency, we welcome any inquiries into our sourcing or production processes.
And I think you'll taste that in our sauce.