When you think of where tasty hot sauces and salsas come from, you might think of Texas, Mexico or New Orleans. But the makers of Fire From the Mountain hope you think of Western North Carolina.
Like many great business ideas, Fire From the Mountain hatched unexpectedly.
Smoked habenero sauce is hot hot hot!
"Pete didn’t like any of the hot sauces in the marketplace," says Dorene Jankowski, a self-trained chef, speaking of her husband and business partner. "He didn’t think they were hot enough or had enough flavor. So I started experimenting and eventually created our smoked habenero hot sauce, which met Pete’s approval."
Thus, Fire From the Mountain was born, becoming Blue Ridge Food Ventures' first client in 2005.
From farm to Blue Ridge Food Ventures to market
The Jankowskis plant 300 to 400 pepper plants each year at their farm in Watauga County, including serrano, poblano, habenero, jalapeno and bell peppers, as well as tomatoes. After harvest they freeze their produce and come to Blue Ridge Food Ventures about once a month to produce and package their hot sauces and salsa - more than 5,000 delicious bottles a year.
Dreams fulfilled, thanks to Blue Ridge Food Ventures
Blue Ridge Food Ventures helps people with their dreams, providing physical production space, business guidance, marketing advice and connections. But the drive and motivation for Pete and Dorene is all theirs, and that's what makes them successful.