With tears streaming down our faces, we coughed and sputtered our way to the door of the commercial kitchen. CaJohn’s Fiery Foods was in full swing, mixing up a new hot sauce recipe using some of the hottest chili peppers in the world. Just the smell of the freshly ground chili peppers was enough to send Amber Seitz, Finance Fund Senior Manager of Communications and Marketing, and me running for fresh air during our recent site visit.
John “CaJohn” Hard, however, just smiled and inhaled deeply of the fiery blend of fresh ingredients and spices that has made him the “godfather of hot sauce.” Another award-winning tongue burner was on the brew and would soon join his inventory of 200 specialty food products.
With names like Vicious Viper, Krakatoa, Liquid Stoopid, Fatalii, and Lethal Ingestion, these and other tasty scorchers have earned CaJohn’s Fiery Foods a place in the “Hot Sauce Hall of Fame.” In all, the company has won more than 600 major awards. Products are sold through retail outlets and online.
Finance Fund Capital Corporation’s (FCAP) $250,000 small business financing provided CaJohn’s with the working capital and infrastructure needed to keep growing their Westerville, OH operation. CaJohn’s employs 13 staff with plans to add 6 new hires over the next two years.
CaJohn has always had a taste for hot, spicy foods and enjoyed creating his own sauces, salsas and seasonings for family and friends. After winning several major national hot sauce awards and seeing increased demand for his fresh and fiery products, John and his wife Sue opened CaJohn’s Fiery Foods in 1997.
Whether Cajun, Southwestern, Asian or Caribbean cuisine, there’s a CaJohn’s hot sauce, BBQ sauce, rub, spice blend or salsa available to add original flavor or fierce fire to recipes. CaJohn’s Sancto Scorpio hot sauce, for example, is made from the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper, the hottest chili pepper on the planet scoring 1.2 million Scoville Heat Units. To ensure highest quality, product is prepared in small batches using all natural fresh peppers and select fruit, grown in Ohio whenever possible.
We invite you to learn more about small business projects financed through FCAP by visiting our website.