The Free The Chilli story is about two blokes and a whole lot of chillis…
Founders Jamie & Jonny met at university and formed a connection over a shared love of good food, good music and good times.
Our love for chilli sauce has been around for years. Jonny remembers coming home from school, dipping plain tortilla crisps into any hot sauce he could find in the kitchen. Although there was always one that stood out from the rest… Bajan hot pepper sauce.
Fast forward 10 years, the soon to be FTC team travelled to the Caribbean for the International Sol Rally Barbados. Sun blazing, Reggae blaring, Rum punch in one hand, flying fish cutter lathered in obscene amounts of hot pepper sauce in the other, as fine-tuned rally cars ripped past us from our perch in the field. Young, dumb and full of dark rum – the stage was set, the story was about to begin.
Upon arriving back to the UK we managed to bring back a 2L bottled of Bajan sauce each. It didn’t last long. After a few months dry, sleepless nights, cold sweats for the hot stuff, arm scratching like a train-spotter waiting on the next locomotive to pass his way, Jamie took it upon himself to make the first pot, a traditional style, mango infused pepper sauce. It was beautiful! You could practically taste the salt in the air again.
The early stages:
After the revelation that we could make our own hot sauce, we started testing out a load of different recipes. Living on tattie scones and spicy home brew, many batches were made in the pursuit of perfection. Once we had our recipe down and after feedback from family and friends, we decided to put our business degrees to (at least some) use. So we did what every professional start-up does in their beginning stages: bought some team hoodies and planned for company research excursions to the Caribbean. The hoodies are now well worn in but the ‘business trip’ is still in the planning. We are getting there though! .
A brand name and a mission statement:
We chose the name Free The Chilli because it is specifically what we want to do. We are all about celebrating chilli flavours in our hot sauce and food without it destroying your taste buds or causing pain. We love the heat but not at the cost of flavour.
We set up shop in 2018 selling small batches of hot sauce in our own kitchens. Since then we’re making bigger batches in bigger kitchens but some things never change. The music, the dancing and the smiles are ever present on batch day… and the turmeric stains!
We’ve also expanded into street food and catering where we celebrate our passion for worldwide flavours. We look for ways to make chilli accessible for people in our food as well as offering a range of fresh and tasty options with quality ingredients.
As the saying goes, the best is yet to come! This is definitely true. We have many many plans that we can’t wait to share with you and the world. We’re thankful for everyone who has supported our business so far and welcome anyone who has just found us. It’s been good and it shall continue to be good.
The future is orange!