You could say Big Red’s is on a hot streak for a bit. In the three years since then swinging ‘Smokin’ Ed Curry and the rest of the competition at the California Hot Sauce Expo In 2018, hot sauce company and heat makers—husband and wife team Paul and Tasia Ford—survived the pandemic, opened a new gift shop, and won another award. (This time, it has nothing to do with flavor.)
Big Reds Hot Sauce Gift shop opened in 10439 North Cave Creek Road in Sunny Slope in April. The shop is at the end of a row of warehouses and next to the Big Red warehouse. Serves 11 sauces (nine hot sauces and two whipped sauces) alongside Big Red’s Hot Sauce and some shelf-stable items from other local businesses like RA . seasoningThis Chandler-based brand, Relish Sunshine Specialty Food, local honey in Arizona.
Big Red’s has become a destination for hot sauce lovers. Note the hot sauce collector Vic Klinko, who has the largest hot sauce collection in the world, has now autographed bottles of Big Red’s on his wall.
For Ford, success was not easy. The couple worked other jobs before opening the Hot Sauce Project in 2011. Tasia was a chancellor at the University of Phoenix. Paul prospected for natural resources and spent time in Afghanistan, drilling water for troops stationed there. Returning from abroad, Paul decided to start a business. Inspired by his neighbor, he chose to make the hot sauce. Paul and Tasya brought samples to work and people couldn’t get enough. Thus, Big Red Hot Sauce was born.
By 2018, both of them quit their jobs to focus fully on business. “When the pandemic happened, we had to make it work,” says Tasya. The two began collaborating with other companies.
For example, salsa producer Hiram Carrasco started a digital marketing company, Hiram Carrasco Consulting. “We decided to hire him and support another small business, instead of working with a bigger one,” says Tasya.
Also, when a file Arizona Elderberry Shoppe Big Red received a huge number of orders, and was able to lend a hand with production and order fulfillment. As such, an order that would have taken 48 hours was completed in eight hours.
At farmers markets, Paul and Tasia changed their strategy by switching from tasting to a verbal flavor tour. For each sauce, Paul describes the flavor and heat and gives people examples of foods that suit it best.
Tasia credits Paul with helping the company weather the pandemic by finding opportunities for growth. “He is a problem solver and has a heart for service. He honestly asks, ‘How can I be of service?’ This is how he has been able to generate a revenue stream for us while helping others.”
Paul’s flexibility earned him Forbes Next 1000, a nomination-based award for resilient entrepreneurs, in September. “I still can’t believe it,” he says.
“You know when you get there, it wasn’t given to you,” says Tasya. “You had to work for it. We love what we do. It’s the life we chose. Good to know we’re going to be celebrating 10 years since doing it, and it felt good to be recognized.”
Paul, also known as the “messenger of hot sauce,” is constantly inventing new flavors. The latest addition to the collection is the Banana Reaper Split. Bananas prepare for the first bite with a quick kick of seasoning to follow. Tasia sprinkles it on cheesecake and uses it to make spicy peach cobbler. She recommends using AZ Jerk Sauce in pasta.
Fords want you to get creative with their sauces. There’s a sweet potato pie recipe on Instagram’s Big Red that’s made with AZ Jerk sauce, and some people put Prickly Pear on ice cream.
Along with the gift shop and websiteYou can find Big Red products at a number of local stores and farmers’ markets. Gift shop by appointment only. call, text, E-mail, use Instagram or Facebook social networking site To schedule a visit.
There’s a surprise brewing on Big Red’s 10th anniversary, which is coming in November, according to Fords. follow them Instagram for updates.
Big Reds Hot Sauce
10439 North Cave Creek Rd, Suite 104
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday by appointment
Phone: (877) 651-9931