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About us

This is the Story of Some Luck, Perseverance and a Really Good Product Line

Before Hot Squeeze I owned my own catering business catering to the film and production industry. I began this business when my children were little as a way to be a stay-at-home mom. It was during those years that I first created my sweet heat chipotle sauce. My sauce became so popular that out-of-town production companies would hire “the caterer with the special sauce.”

For years, I was encouraged to bottle my special sauce – but I didn’t have any clue on how to get a product ready for retail. But, like most everything I do, I dove in head first (it’s that entrepreneurial gene.) In 10 months time I trademarked my company name, created a packaging idea, found a co-packer and even got the blessing of a Rabbi (Hot Squeeze was Kosher at the time.) I took $23,000 of my own savings and set-up my first bottling run of 500 cases of Hot Squeeze.

And guess what. I had no earthly idea what I was doing. I sat with my advisory board and we discussed how I might have to give away every single bottle to “get it out there.” This is where the luck comes in. Three months after my bottling run I got a call from a Whole Foods buyer. She wanted Hot Squeeze in all of her stores. And then I got calls from other buyers from other grocery chains and in 3 years, my product was in over 2500 grocery shelves.

Great success story, right? Wrong. I was a one-woman show, traveling for trade shows and demos in stores, packing pallets in my warehouse, marketing, selling, accounting and more. My product was everywhere but since I was stretched so thin I had no good control over any of them. This is not a strategy I would recommend for others starting a food company and impossible to sustain. But this is where the perseverance and great products comes in….I still am in the game, with a much greater understanding of the industry and I continue to create and add great products that my customers love. My goal remains the same, to make Hot Squeeze a household name.

I hope that if you are thinking of starting your own food company that you’ll reach out to me. Not that I am an expert but I certainly have learned a thing or two or three since I started and I am always happy to help and support another entrepreneur.

Sue