Locally Sourced Hot Sauce is Coming to Queens!
Queens, New York— On June 22, 2017, Small Axe Peppers unveiled its latest venture, Queens 7 Hot Sauce, during a community kickoff event at the Queens Botanical Gardens. Small Axe Peppers, the creators and founders of the popular Bronx Hot Sauce, announced their partnership with community gardens and urban farms across the borough and their excitement to bottle the taste of Queens into a new unique hot sauce. The event featured speakers from community gardens and urban farms across the borough. Following the concept of the company’s first production, Bronx Hot Sauce, Queens 7 Hot Sauce will use jalapeño peppers sourced from local Queens gardens and urban farms, including the RYTF Urban Farm and Community Garden.
RYTF was present at the event to support the new project. Tamera Jacobs, RYTF’s Director of Operations said, "We are honored to be able to partner with Small Axe Peppers through our urban farm. We want to provide our community with healthier food options and products like hot sauce, made with local fresh produce, works to show residents that items they use every day can be healthier and more affordable. Through this partnership, the Rockaway Youth Task Force will be able to make more improvements to our farm and employ more young people to learn about sustainable urban farming.”
Named for its 7 main ingredients, Queens 7 Hot Sauce seeks to embody the diversity found in the borough. Small Axe Peppers had a simple, yet lofty goal when it came to making a hot sauce for Queens: “To take the diverse tastes and flavors of Queens and put them all into one delicious hot sauce.” Seeing that half of Queens' population is foreign born and come from more than 100 countries, this was no easy feat, but head Chef King Phojamakong, executive chef of the Thai-Filipino fusion restaurant Kuma Inn, was up for the challenge. His sauce utilizes jalapeños, tomatoes, and fish sauce, representing Mexican, Italian, and Asian cuisine respectively, to create the unique Queens 7 Hot sauce.
Small Axe Peppers began as a desire to give back to communities. Founded in 2014 by affordable housing developers John Crotty and John Fitzgerald, Small Axe Peppers began its work by distributing free Serrano pepper seeds to urban farms and community gardens in the Bronx. They would then buy the peppers from the farmers at a premium price and use them to make their hot sauces. This model ensures that local gardeners and farmers are paid fairly for their produce and improves the economy of their neighborhoods. It also helps to create a bond between businesses and the communities they work in. The success of the partnerships is undeniable. In 2014, Small Axe Peppers produced 5,000 bottles of Bronx Hot Sauce and in 2017, they produced 70,000. Queens 7 Hot Sauce is looking to expand upon that legacy.
While Thursday’s event served as the official kick off for the Queens brand sauce, the peppers are already cropping up in gardens around the borough. The Queens 7 Hot Sauce will be available for sale in Fall 2017 at more than 200 locations in the tri-state area and customers can pre-order bottles online at www.queens7hotsauce.com for $10 dollars plus a $5 dollar shipping fee. For those who can’t wait to taste the sauce, samples will be available at the Rockaway Youth Task Force’s Farm Stand on Saturday, July 8th from 9:00am to 2:00pm.