Once in motion, we spent every spare moment immersed. I’d come home from work and ask Jeff what he’d accomplished during the day and what we were going to work that night.
One evening he replied that he’d spent the day ‘getting sauced.’ The next day he’d said, “I got more sauced!” Each time a creative answer followed. “I’m having a saucy day!” “I got saucified!” “Saucing!”
We spent three weekends preparing, in grocery stores, on the web, on Food Network, and on the phone locating our opening stock.
In stores, because we didn’t want to duplicate easily found sauces, and it was likely we wouldn’t be able to match the big store low price.
On the web, looking for other hot sauce ventures: makers, sellers, stores, web sites. Yes, it’s true. We culled the names of the more popular brands and small start-ups.
On Food Network because BBQ challenges, and the many city specific food discovery shows featuring small business owners and local specialties.
There were a ton of tiny outfits. We learned that even if a popular brand was already stocked in mainstream or gourmet specialty stores, often the hotter-hottest of the line was not.
Jeff made friends. And, I’m talking more than acquaintances. Even over the phone, he had the gift of friendliness.
Within a few days free samples began rolling in. Some came from new makers/suppliers Jeff discovered. Two of the larger branded names couldn’t accommodate our small 2-4 or at most 6 bottle orders, but they were willing to provide the name of businesses who would.
Jeff spoke to both sources and within a day, after Jeff and I had agreed and disagreed on some items, our first order was placed.
The disagreement was about anything with the name or word ‘fart’ or ‘ass’ included. I know it’s more of a man thing than a Jeff thing, but no matter what, I just didn’t find it funny. I never understood the guffawing over the fart scene in Blazing Saddles, either. Especially after seeing it for the umpteenth time. I will admit the only time I’ve ever found a fart funny was when Peter Sellers was involved.
My vision was more gourmet, experimental, unique. Jeff didn’t think anyone would ever be interested in olive salsa or crab salsa, but his approach was, “Why not? Let’s see what happens.”
On a Wednesday, two big boxes of serious shipment had arrived. I only remember it was a Wednesday because we were debating the merits of waiting until we could get the shipments to the store or opening them now and just being excited.
With enthusiasm we tore open the loot. The first thing Jeff pulled out delighted him and annoyed me…
Quotes (from friends and I) for the Week:
Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:
What?: popcorn farts
How?: like this