The concept of hot sauce is beautifully simple. Eating food is not only one of the most enjoyable things we do every day, its arguably the most central component to life. Hot sauce kicks eating up a notch. Imagine a delicious and versatile hot sauce made from what grows naturally on Earth, designed for us to conveniently add to all our favorite meals. That's real value.
Since childhood, I've always enjoyed the staple condiments and sauces, but it was in college that my love for spiciness and hot sauce took full bloom. My mom- born in Central America and raised on spicy cuisine- sneered at my American brands of sauce and told me just wait until I try my grandma's 'chile'. Of course I was interested, but it wasn't until years later in 2013 that she actually made a batch and I got to try it. It blew my mind. The perfect balance of freshness, spiciness, and tanginess came together to create a uniquely delicious flavor, and it worked on so many different foods. It quickly became my go-to condiment, and it wasn't long before her batch ran out and I figured I should probably learn how to make more on my own.
After a dozen batches or so, I ended up with my own version of my her recipe. When my friends tried my new spicy sauce they went as crazy for it as I did, but it wasn't until people wanted to buy quantity that I started to think about taking things more seriously. At that time I was working as a graphic/web designer on random projects for clients and agencies around NYC, some of which gave me some experience in product design. So it was easy enough to find some jars on Amazon, come up with a name, design a logo, print labels at home, launch a page on Shopify where folks could mail order Tango, and then I blasted my social media with the announcement. I think I sold 10 jars in the first day, and another 10 over the next month. But sales continued and the feedback was always positive.
Only since late 2017 have I been fortunate enough to focus my days on Tango. It was all nights and weekends before that, during which time much of the work was to secure the health and food safety certifications that go along with starting a small food business in NYC, and to find an affordable commercial kitchen to operate in. In 2014, Tango was officially certified by the Health Department and FDA. In February 2015, we made the switch from 4oz glass jars to 8oz plastic squeeze bottles. A few months later, the first of our two seasons at the legendary Smorgasburg summer food market in Brooklyn began, where we received impactful feedback from tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. In October 2015, I hired my first employee. In March 2016, we went slightly viral with our Feel The Bern bottle in support of Bernie Sanders Presidental Campaign. Later that month, Tango Presents launched with a sold-out concert at Rough Trade featuring trio Khruangbin, and went on throw 25 more Tango-infused concerts in NYC over the next year. In February 2017, we moved into our current kitchen facility on Borden Ave in Long Island City, NY, ending 3 years of using random commercial kitchens around the city. In April 2017, we switched from black caps to green caps. In December 2017, we signed to UNFI, our first distributor, to help bring Tango to more stores throughout the US. At the beginning of 2018, you could find Tango for sale in 75+ food stores & markets in and around NYC. In April 2018, we gave Hot Tango a red cap to make it stand out against the Mild's green ones. In August 2018, after 5 rejections, we finally hit the shelves at Whole Foods stores, a lofty dream since the start. 2019 is already proving to be our biggest year yet, while global interest in hot sauce continues to increase year over year with no sign of slowing.
I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for all the people along the way who have shown love and support to Tango. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Tango has a life of its own- I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.
Thanks for reading. Don't hesitate to drop me a line anytime.
Minimum Order Amount$1Elsewhere
City and stateLos Angeles,California
Shipping Lead Time1-3 days