MAGO was one of my favorite sauces at the PDX Hot Sauce Expo and I was pumped to meet Clark and Brian. Their sauces will be featured in the Craft Hot Sauce Subscription Box the month of October. Enjoy reading more about MAGO!
Clark (the Founder at Mago Hot Sauce) sharing his early memories with spicy foods and the story behind his first batch of hot sauce
I first got hooked on hot sauce through just eating spicy food and growing peppers. I loved gardening from the beginning with the first few plants I started. Once I started cooking more and more, making hot sauce happened naturally.
I wanted to make something different than what I found at the store. I had no plan of starting a business, but I wanted something with flavor and heat that didn’t take over the meal but still gave me my fix.
I was taking sauces to work, to friends, to family reunions, and everywhere. The feedback was a big motivation for taking the next step. After a while, I started thinking about the brand and what it might take to start a business.
A quick pieces of advice for those starting a hot sauce company...
Always talk to your customers and never cut corners. Take advice from people that have grown businesses. Work hard and be organized. Learn from all your mistakes and move on with a plan. Adapt.
Do lots of research and testing before spending a lot of money and launching any products. Don’t try and grow too fast and pay attention to what consumers are looking for and other industry trends. Still, don’t be afraid to take some risks.
Do you have a favorite memory during related to your hot sauce journey?
There have been many good times, but launching new products and sampling new flavors with customers is always really fun..those are towards the top for sure. I have always loved traveling and trying new spicy food. The hot sauce events that we’ve done have been a blast too.
What is the SoCal hot sauce scene like?
Southern California has some great small-batch hot sauce. The best part though is that all of our brands and products are different. More and more people seem to be choosing craft hot sauce over the mainstream brands these days.
What drives you to continue making sauce?
I make hot sauce because I love creating new things and coming up with new recipes to use our products with. All of our sauces give you a different experience work with many types of food. Each one is very different from the next sauce. We are influenced by different flavors and cultures from around the world. We love spicy food but it MUST have great flavor!
If you're interested in trying new hot sauces and hearing their stories, sign up for the Craft Hot Sauce subscription box. Getting small-batch hot sauces and their stories to the people!