The San Juan Hot Shop & Flavor Emporium

The San Juan Hot Shop & Flavor Emporium
Spice Is Nice But It's Gotta Have Flavor

Friday, December 31, 2010


Greetings Everyone,

Hope this post finds you all healthy and ready for a new year.  Tomorrow will be 1-1-11 and the feeling of hope is in the air. Just about all of our customers lately have expressed the "hope" of a better year ahead.  We feel blessed for having the greatest customers ANYWHERE and our little business continues to grow. This next year we have big plans for growth. Without giving away too much, we want to start our own beef jerky product line and also our own spicy chocolate product line. We'll keep you up to date on the progress.

On Wednesday we were blessed with about 2 inches of snow. It's so beautiful but then the clouds parted and the temps went waaaaayyyyyy down. On our way into the shop this morning it was 28 degrees. The Trumpeter Swans were swimming in Lakedale keeping the center of the lake free of ice. If you've never been to the island in winter, it's a real treat.

For New Year's dinner we're cooking up a couple of Rib Eye steaks with a light marinade of Chipotleyaki before putting them on the grill. Then for a salad dressing, we're going to make up a batch of the Stinger X hot sauce blended in Vegetable Oil and pour it over a bed of mixed greens and feta cheese. Just hang out at the old homestead and welcome the new year. 

We hope this finds you all well and warm during the last holiday of 2010. 

All the best,

Eddie & Genie

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

To all our wonderful chilihead friends, hope you have a warm and wonderful holiday. All the best for 2011. It's gotta get better right???

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pre-Christmas Greetings to our Chiliheads

 Wet greetings from Gilligan's Island North! Wow, what a weather month December has been and it's only the 12th. We've had snow and now the Pineapple Express is dumping on us. Thank goodness we live on a rock with good runoff however some of the low spots on the island are even flooding. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be really soggy for us and all of Western Washington State. Stay warm and safe. Anyway, just wanted to send a shout out to our favorite chiliheads and say thanks for all the new subscriptions to the Hot Sauce of the Month Club. It's really taken off this season and it's not too late yet to get your membership for a Christmas delivery but time is running out. For details and info., check out the website at, or give us a call.   We've also had a large response to the personalized label program and we've had a lot of fun creating many labels for the local businesses who have ordered cases as well as individuals who only want 1 or 2 bottles. It's easy to do and we can do it all by e-mail. All you have to do is e-mail us a .jpg of your favorite pic (high res) and tell us what saying you want on the label and we create a label and send you a proof before printing it. You can choose from 5 different sauces and then you can either pick it up at the shop or we'll ship it to you.  Excellent budget friendly gift giving idea while adding a personal touch.

The cook book is coming along nicely and we've gotten a few really great recipes from our friends but we still need more. Sam and Tina from Zane and Zack's sent us a sample of a new sauce they created called "Stinger" and "Stinger X".  Wow, they've done it again.  I had some chicken in the freezer so I thawed it out and added about 1/2 a bottle of the Stinger X to 1/2 cup of canola oil and used my electric whip to blend it all together. I basted the boneless chicken breasts with it and popped them in the oven and it was a flavor explosion. Served with some green beans and roasted red potatoes, it was a great meal.  We loved it so much that the next night I made more and even used it on iceberg salad wedges with various veggies and feta cheese. YUM! The sauce was just a sample sauce but I'm really hoping they market it. Tonight I'm going to try and use their "Sauce of the Rising Son" for the same thing. We just love their products and their products are some of our best sellers.

Holiday greetings to you all and we hope you have a safe and joyous season with your loved ones.
~~Eddie & Genie~~

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Memories

Wow, what a feast!  Ed did a 14 lb. beer can turkey on the grill and it was the moistest bird ever we ever ate. Ed used a Foster's Lager to shove up the bird and seasoned the outside with a cajun mixture of Gator Sprinkles (from the Gator Hammock Co.) and some butter and basted the bird throughout the 3 1/2 hour cooking process and it was scrumptious. Contrary to what you might think, the bird does not taste like beer at all.  The hops and barley in the beer evaporate into the bird and keep it soooooooo moist.  Even the leftovers were moist and tonight we're making turkey pot pie with all kinds of vegetables and gravy and of course Bisquick on the top.  We're even making a couple extra's for the freezer without the bisquick so we can enjoy it later in the season.  After all, winter hasn't begun and we've gotten quite a bit of snow already so we're expecting a long and cooler than normal season this year. Of course there was stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon and feta cheese, cranberry sauce and pumkin cheesecake for desert. The day after the holiday, we didn't even eat we were so stuffed. 

Well we hope you all had a warm holiday with the people you love and don't forget, we need your recipes for our book we're putting together. We give you the credit so include your name and hometown.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Recipes Please!!!

Pre-Thanksgiving greetings!

We just had to share with you the excitement from a call we just received.  It seems a few weeks ago we had some wonderful customers in the store (our customers are the best) and they were getting recipe ideas and taste testing various products and it turns out there was a cooking contest coming up. It turns out that gentleman who was taste testing with Ed, Ross Jenkins, took an idea and made an award winning recipe.  He called us this afternoon to say thank you and when asked what he made, he won for biscuits and gravy.  But not just any ordinary biscuits and gravy.  He used Lizano Salsa from Costa Rica in the recipe and won first prize.  We got so excited when he called we had to share it with y'all. Congratulations Ross and thanks for the call.  Those of you who use Lizano know what a special taste it is.  Contrary to belief, it has no heat to it at all and they put it on their tables in Costa Rica like we put ketchup on our restaurant tables.  It's concocted from all vegetables (cauliflower mainly) and has a wonderful flavor of cumin, turmeric and other natural ingredients.  It's the best pulled pork sauce I've ever used and it's great on Oyster shooters, eggs, red beans & rice and about 3,000 other things.  Check out the recipe section on our website and you'll see many of our favorite uses listed. 

It's so exciting to get get that feedback from our customers that we had to share it.  As we get closer to the holidays and the "season of food" don't forget our wonderful pepper jelly's (served over cream cheese or a warmed brie with crackers is amazing). We've got lots of recipe ideas and if you need any help coming up with something new and unusual for a family gathering, just shoot us an e-mail and we'll share more ideas.  We're working on a SJHS cookbook too so don't forget to share your recipes and include your name and hometown so we can give you the credit. 

As we move into the end of November the weather forecasters are calling for lowland snow possibly this weekend.  Stay warm and keep the recipes coming our way. 

Have a great week!
~~Eddie & Genie~~

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Greetings 11/8/10

Good Monday Morning All,

Hope you all had a great weekend. The weather on the island continues to get a little colder although we've had a really nice run of sun breaks.  We typically only get about 1/3 of the rain that Seattle does and a lot of people don't know that about the islands which make it a pretty nice place to visit any time of year.  Business is a little slow but we expect that this time of year. While our internet sales continue to be brisk, we are signing up more and more people up for the Hot Sauce of the Month Club.  This weekend was full of activities as our little community offers a wide variety of things to do.  On Saturday night we went to a play at the Legion called "Only a Ridgeline Away" about 2 long time Vietnam War veterans and their lifelong camaraderie.  It was very moving evoking many emotions throughout.  One of the lead characters, Capt. Michael Mooney was played by Genie's boss, Mr. Anthony Vivenzio (on the left in the picture)  and really saw an incredible acting job done by the entire cast and crew. The plans are to take this production on a national tour and we highly recommend it if you get the chance to see it. Check out the write up below.

Playwright and Friday Harbor resident Miguel Herbert describes Only a Ridgeline Away as "a cross between Grumpy Old Men and One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. It is my goal, through this play, to give audience members a look at the astounding level of friendship experienced among men who have served together in combat."

  The principal characters, Matt Slater and Michael T. Mooney, are Vietnam combat veterans and lifelong best friends. While in their 50s they made a pact: when they needed to transition into a care facility, they would be together. The time has come.

Herbert says the play is full of both drama and plenty of zany antics. “The one thing that kept me from going bonkers in Vietnam was my three close friends. Two of us were fortunate enough to make it home. It is my goal, through this stage play, to give audience members a look at the astounding level of friendship experienced among men who have served together in combat.”

Have a good week and as always we love hearing from you guys.

Eddie & Genie Williams

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Another Fantastic Recipe Idea

Ed came up with this one the other night and it was sooooooo good, I ended up using the sauce the next night on homemade pizza's. Yes, Ed even made the dough from scratch and I must say they were the yummiest pizza's we ever ate.

Anyway, Ed dreamed up a twist on Chicken Cacciatore and we have to share it.  You'll see it on the website soon too!

Ingredients (not exaxt, you can improvise)

3-4 skin on chicken breasts (he left the skin on for crispy browning. Thighs work well too)
1/2 bottle Ring of Fire Garden Fresh Chili Sauce (Yep, we got it!)
1/4 cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 cloves of garlic minced (I love using my Magic Bullet to chop the garlic)
1 Onion - Diced (We used a white onion for a mellow flavor)
1 Red Bell Pepper - Cut into thin slices
1 Green Bell Pepper - Cut into thin slices
Wondra (or flour for thickening)

Heat canola or vegetable oil until hot and carefully add chicken and sear both sides until browned. Remove chicken, place on a place with paper towels to absorb oil and keep in warm oven while preparing sauce.

Heat EVOO until hot and add garlic, onions and peppers cook until warmed through but still crunchy.  Add Ring of Fire Garden Fresh Chili Sauce and heat slowly until all ingredients are incorporated.  Sauce will be thin so you you can thicken it at this point.

Ed served the chicken on angel hair pasta and put the sauce over it and boy it was yummy.  We made some garlic bread to sop up all the sauce and it sure was tasty.   I loved the sauce so much that I made Ed make up some pizza dough the next night and used this sauce on the pizza's with more peppers/sausage and pepperoni and plenty of cheese of course.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Halloween is here and you always know if for sure with the annual parade down Spring Street in downtown Friday Harbor. The school kids treat us to a parade to show off their costumes although it's not just for the kids. Kids of all ages dress up and the creativity this year was outstanding. The sun shone brightly for the kids and a good time was had by all. Check out a few pic's. (Courtesy of the San Juan Islander which has 6 pages of photos if you want to view just follow this link: The San Juan Islander )

We're going to close the store tomorrow (Halloween) for 1 day for the first time in over a year. We need a day after a busy summer to catch up on some football, the world series and the food that goes with it. In our next post we'll tell you about the wonderful twist on a recipe Ed created using the Ring of Fire product Garden Fresh. Fabuloso! We'll get that up on the blog in the next couple of days. In the meantime, have a safe and happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

OK, OK, Here's the recipe

Well yesterday I got inundated with requests for the Po' Boy recipe so here you go.

Melinda's Amarillo Smoked Sausage Po' Boys with Sweet Peppers, Onions and Mango Mayonnaise.

  • 4 links of smoked sausage (6-10 inches) 
  • 1/2 cup Melinda's Amarillo Mustard Hot Sauce 
  • 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 orange bell pepper 
  • 1 purple onion
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 loaf French Bread 
Mango Mayo:
  • 3 heaping tablespons of mayo
  • 2 tbsp of Melinda's Mango Hot Sauce
Just whisk these 2 ingredients and you've got a fabulous mango mayo.

Cut peppers in quarters, take out core and seeds.  Cut onion in thick rings for the grill.
Light grill to high heat.  Using a basting brush, put a light coating of oil on peppers and onions and place on grill.  Put sausage links on grill and baste with Melinda's Amarillo Mustard hot sauce frequently.  Be sure not to leave peppers on grill too long.  You want them seared and cooked but not too soft.  Remove peppers and slice into strips. Allow onion to cook longer than peppers.  remove onions and also slice into strips.

Lightly saute grilled onions and peppers with 1 tbsp. butter in saute pan for 2 minutes over med-high heat.  Warm French bread and cut into 6 to 8 inch sections for Po' Boy sandwiches.  Put Mango Mayo on bread and layer with sausage and peppers to finish off this masterpiece!

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22nd Friday Greetings

TGIF which doesn't mean much to us but with Friday upon us it brings the hope of a good weekend of island visitors. Tonight is the local homecoming game and at 3:30 this afternoon the high school will hold it's annual parade through town. If you've never seen this, it's a ball. Very small town. Last year they were all dancing to Thriller and it was quite the show.

Yesterday we got our October shipments of The Hot Sauce of the Month Club out in the mail and this little club has grown so big it takes up most of the store when we're packing it up. 2 of our customers saw what we were doing and joined up right then and there. The post office always welcomes Ed when he shows up with the many boxes we send out. He even has to deliver them to the back delivery dock. This month I included a recipe for a sausage Po' Boy using Melinda's Amarillo Mustard Hot Sauce. This is such a great sauce and I love it on Bratwurst.  It's even tasty on our Saturday morning sausage breakfast sandwich's from Cousin Vinny's next door.  (Now I'm hungry).

As we head into the holiday's we wish you all warm and healthy wishes with your families. We realize times are very hard for a lot of people right now but we can't help but feel we're on the road to better times.  After all we are a nation of hope and if we work together, we can achieve anything. No matter what your political views are, we hope each and every eligible voter does their duty on November 2nd.

There's a storm a brewin' for Sunday here in the PNW so batten down the hatches and eat more hot sauce! Variety is the spice of life!

All The Best,
Eddie & Genie
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Monday, October 4, 2010

October has arrived!

Good Tuesday Morning,

Hope you all had a great weekend and as we head into the land of longer nights, shorter (seeming) days and towards the holidays (can you believe we're already talking holidays) family, food and home becomes the focus of life. We really enjoy this time of year as the World Series is almost upon us, the pumpkins are in the stores, football is getting interesting and we seem to be more thankful and thoughtful for our friends and family. The shop is still open 7 days a week so if you're making a trip to the island, please be sure to put us on your to-do list for a visit. We have a lot of new products arriving this week and will be getting more giftware and housewares in for the holiday season. Be sure to check out our newly designed T-shirts too!
We are also offering a discount for orders on our website. Just type in the code; SJHS1110 from now through the end of November to receive $5.00 off ANY order.

Weekends are still quite busy and we had to share this recent photo of some of our visitors. So much fun! Stay healthy and well this fall and keep eating hot sauce to avoid catching a cold (yes, it works). We can't promise you'll never get a cold again, but we haven't had a cold in a very long time.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Calling All Recipes and Thrifty Holiday Ideas

Wednesday Greetings,

Once again we want to throw it out there that we would love for our fellow Chiliheads to send us recipes for products you have used from our store.  We are in the process of putting together a SJ Hot Shop book of recipes and we want to include our great customers.  We will give you credit for the recipe so be sure to include your hometown and state with each submission. 

We are also offering a pre-holiday savings for people ordering off our website. From now through the end of November just type in SJHS1110 in the redemption code at checkout and receive $5.00 off your order.  There are no minimums and you can use it from now through the end of November. 

Now, for economical holiday gifts, check out our Hot Sauce of the Month Club on our website at . You can purchase 1 month / 3 month / 6 month and 12 month subscriptions.  You, or the recipient of your gift, will receive 2 quality hot sauces each month (we mix it up too, sometimes we throw in a rub, pepper jelly, bbq sauce, etc.) along with recipe ideas and once a quarter we send out our newsletter full of health information, recipe ideas, what's going on on the island and any other fun facts we discover along the way. Ed even includes an editorial in each issue. 

Another fun gift is our personalized labels we put on 5 sauces with a variety of heat levels to choose from.  Just send us a high quality .jpg photo via e-mail and include a caption. We will create the label and send you a proof to make sure it's what you want. Then we slap it on your choice of 5 different hot sauces and ship it to you (or them directly).  We have holiday themes, birthday themes, reunion themes, wedding themes, and anything else you can think of. This is truly a customized label. Our son just recently got married and each person attending the wedding left with a quality bottle of hot sauce with their customized label to commemorate the occasion.  The info. is also available on our website or you can feel free to call us or e-mail us with any questions. 

Our newly designed t-shirts have arrived and they are a huge hit. We are already in the process of ordering a 2nd round as they are flying off the shelves. You can view a picture of them on our website too!

As always, all information is available on our website or you can always feel free to call us or e-mail us. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Autumnal Equinox

Had to share this pic of a couple of guys we had visit the store yesterday. Needless to say, they tried "Z". I love this job!

Well we knew it was coming but at 8:09 tonight (Pacific Time) it will officially be the end of summer. That's OK, seasons bring change and with it new opportunities. The slower season will allow us to research more and find new and exciting products for the shop. It's also a time to do more "comfort food" cooking and with the colder weather, we eat even more of the peppers to ward off colds. So far it's working. Neither of us have had a cold since buying the shop.  Hmmmm, coincidence? I think not. If you haven't signed up for our newsletter on our website yet, please take the time to check it out.  Every quarter we send out the newsletter via e-mail in .pdf form which includes articles about the health benefits, what's new on the island, what products are new and Ed even does an "ed" itorial on topics he thinks are interesting. It's simple, just log onto The San Juan Hot Shop & Flavor Emporium and sign up.  Our next newsletter will go out in mid-October. 

If you have the opportunity to visit the island this weekend, it's supposed to be a superb weather weekend. By Saturday we are supposed to be in the 70's. There are still a lot of visitors to the island and the kayakers are still putting their boats in the water. The mosquito's (from Suzie's Mopeds) are also busy burning up the roads and exploring our little slice of paradise. 

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention our new Hot Shop T-shirts are arriving this week and will be on the website for you to check out. We're pretty proud of the new design. Check them out on the website soon!

A couple of other products worth mentioning are Zane and Zack's new Caribbean Rum Infused Jerk Sauce. A wonderful marinade full of flavor and virtually no heat. This is a great marinade for chicken or salmon. Just throw it in a zip-lock bag overnight and the next day grill up this savory delight on the grill or even in the oven. They also just came out with a Soybanero sauce that is AMAZING. It's a preservative free soy sauce with a habanero kick.  Ed has made beef jerky out of both these products and the people who have tried it gave it a huge thumbs up. The next venture we're going to tackle is to package our own beef jerky to sell in the shop. Stay tuned. The wheels are spinning. Happy Autumn all and stay well.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

San Juan Hot Shop: Glitch!

San Juan Hot Shop: Glitch!: "Well, if you are checking out our blog, you can tell we are experiencing a technical glitch. Some of our past articles have been wiped out b..."


Well, if you are checking out our blog, you can tell we are experiencing a technical glitch. Some of our past articles have been wiped out but we are working on a fix. Please stay tuned and check us out as we move forward. Thanks for your patience and we hope to have the past articles restored, or something close, very soon. As always, we love to hear from you and welcome your suggestions and ideas. One thing we want to re-post is a call for all recipe ideas. This is huge to us. If you have a recipe you've tried using any of our products, we would love to hear from you. We are working on a cookbook and want to also credit our customers so be sure to include your name and hometown so we can give credit accordingly.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Friday, September 17, 2010

San Juan Hot Shop: Etiquette Question

San Juan Hot Shop: Etiquette Question: "OK, we have to ask. When did it become acceptable and proper to walk into a shop with a cell phone stuck to your ear while you shop? As busi..."

San Juan Hot Shop: A CALL FOR RECIPES!

San Juan Hot Shop: A CALL FOR RECIPES!: "Thursday Greetings Everyone, Those of you who have visited the store know that we love to cook and we love to eat. Therefore, we are asking..."

San Juan Hot Shop: The Summer Wind Down

San Juan Hot Shop: The Summer Wind Down: "Monday Greetings All, TAPATIO???? ARE YOU SERIOUS DUDE???? Had to share the photo of Tapatio Boy with you. It seems as of Labor Day, we..."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekend Shenanigans

TGIF Fellow Chiliheads,

Just had to send a shout out and let you all know we got a large shipment of products today and if you're in the neighborhood this weekend, stop by the shop and check them out. Z&Z made a new Habanero Soy (wow, I see jerky coming), and we got more of their Jerk Sauce ( I hated running out of it). We also were blessed by one of our visitors with a package this week of a few New Mexico products we are going to try and bring in. New Mexico Green Chili Sauce and a couple of salsa's that rock. We have the best customers anywhere. Thanks to Jim & Ann Balkenbush in Albuquerque for taking the time to send us the products. We absolutely love the products and will contact the manufacturers to see if we can order them.

Have a safe and happy weekend all and hope many of you get up to the island this next week for the Labor Day Weekend.  The weather is supposed to be perfect.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekend Observations

 Monday Greetings Fellow Chiliheads,

Well as we wind down to the last weekend before Labor Day, we had some great visitors over this past weekend. Lots of fun going on sampling "Z-Nothing Beyond" which has 4 million SHU. It seemed like there were a lot of people walking through the door just to ask "What's the hottest ya' got" and of course we were happy to oblige a sampling. It's the best part of the day when we get to light people up. Check out the pictures. We do also educate people on the risks of using the hottest sauces and warn of using them as a prank. You can do some serious damage. Just check out You-Tube and you'll see the Jackass copycats. We also get a lot of requests for the Ghost Pepper sauces which are really flying off the shelves. So far, Danny Cash's Jolokia (ghost pepper) wing sauce is a great seller along with Holy Jolokia, Melinda's Naga Jolokia and Cajohn's Jolokia salsa. Mongoose is closing in on the ranks as well but I think Danny Cash has nailed it with his wing sauce. I'm addicted to the stuff and even put it on a breakfast burrito Sunday Morning. Wow,  that got us going for the day.  Well we will spend the next few days placing more orders for great products and we have a lot coming in this week so if you're in the neighborhood, drop by and check this stuff out. We have everything from mild to wild and a few delectable sauces with no heat at all. If you haven't checked out Lizano Salsa from Costa Rica, you're missing out. Also, the Takaya Teriyaki Sauce, which has no heat, is one of our best sellers.  Like we always say, spice is nice but it's gotta have flavor. We have also brought in some new really cool housewares and fun stuff so check it out too!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, August 20, 2010


Friday greetings to our fellow chiliheads!

While Friday's are the end of the regular work week for most people, it's the beginning (or middle) of the busiest time for us.  We look forward to all the smiling faces coming off the ferry as people embark on their vacations.  No really, we do love the tourists.  Even in the middle of August after an exhausting summer, it's so neat to see people arrive on the island. Especially if it's their first visit. This place is magical and to see it through their eyes is fun. The whales have been putting on quite a show on the west side with a new baby orca calf arriving this week.  Capt. Jim Maya told a group of whale watchers that the calf hadn't even been formally announced yet.  I see a sunset picnic coming at Lime Kiln State Park this weekend!

The San Juan County Fair has brought a whole lot of fellow "other" islanders to the island and it's been fun to meet them as well.  Some people from Orcas island said they haven't been over here in 15 years and while it's a free (walk on that is) ferry ride away, some of us just don't get around very much.  We did have a lovely couple and their daughter here last evening from Australia which was very enjoyable.  The people we have met from down under are so nice and great conversationalists.  Much like our Canadian neighbors.  We really enjoy having them visit. We're trying to plan a visit to Australia next year to visit our son who has become an Aussie citizen.

If you are out and about this weekend, stop by and say hello.  We'll be sampling our stuff as always and look forward to meeting new folks as well as people who have been here in years past. You have become part of the family and it's always fun to get to know you or just catch up on things.

Happy Grillin' & Chillin' this lovely weekend!

Monday, August 16, 2010

What a wild weekend

Monday Greetings Again,

Wow what a weekend.  The temps really heated up and the boaters flocked to the island. What fun we had.  Now we'll spend the next few days ordering more product to keep the shelves full.  This is the fun part. Some of our best sellers have turned out to be, of course the Z & Z World Famous Honey Company products (all of them) and recently all the Danny Cash products. We are so glad we got his stuff in the store.  In case you haven't heard, his Jolokia Wing Sauce "Fallen Angel" made with the ghost pepper or Naga Bhut Jolokia pepper is amazing. We're doing that on grilled chicken tonight with a side dozen or so jalapeno poppers. Ah, the perfect meal.  If you haven't checked out our chili grills for the healthy way to prepare jalapeno poppers, check out the website or shoot us an e-mail. We have a few recipes up our sleeves. 

It's also hard to believe it's fair week already. Seems like summer just arrived and we're looking forward to the zucchini races already.  If you've never seen a zucchini race, this is the place to be! The entertainment at the fair is supposed to be fantastic this year featuring a lot of local bands. What a  perfect way to spend a warm summer evening in this great community. I do hope the food will be better this year but it's hard to go wrong with fair food.  It's fun to see all the kids participating in the events and the local artists showing their unique creations. I don't get into the rides very much any more as becoming an adult and marrying a mechanic makes you take a profound look at "metal fatigue" and everything that encompasses. Anyway, if you're here for the fair this week be sure to stop by and say hello. We have been featuring our pepper jelly's over cream cheese served on crackers which is an amazing summer treat.  (Also great for the holidays). Check it out and we hope to see you soon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th!

Happy Friday the 13th!  

We have actually found this date on Friday to be a lucky one in the past. But then again, we always do things a little backward.  Anywho, the weekend is shaping up to be very busy.  The morning fog gave way to an offshort breeze and it's going to be a spectacular weather weekend. I'm sure lots of boaters and landlubbers alike will be out and about.  Can't wait! We're making Pepper Jelly on Shortbread this weekend for sampling and I know it's going to be a hit.  The shortbread recipe is 3 ingredients and you just add Paula's Pepper Jelly (Huckleberry, Red Raspberry, Marionberry, Cherry and Pumpkin are favorites for this scumptious treat).  If you have a chance, drop by Saturday and Sunday and check it out.  The recipe is available on our website too! ( 

Wishing you all a beautiful and warm weekend with lots to do with your family and loved ones.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday, Monday

Chilihead Taste Testers This Weekend
Happy Monday Again,

What a wonderful weekend in the islands. Saturday we got some needed rain and it wasn't just drizzle. It watered the entire island and it looks so fresh. The trees in our yard seem perkier as if to say thank you Mother Nature! The wet weather kept most of the boaters off the water so our little shop was very busy. We sampled our Texas Longhorn Bread & Butter Pickled Jalapeno's mixed with cream cheese on a flavored tortilla as a roll up. (By overwhelming majority people liked the sun-dried tomato and basil tortilla over the spinach and herb ones). Every time we sample these, the stuff flies off the shelf. If you haven't tried it, stop by any weekend in August as we will be sampling these tasty morsels of goodness. The Jalapeno's have been pickled like a bread & butter pickle using the same sweet and tangy spices. The jalapeno's add a little kick that people wary of hot or spicy food love. We love converting people. And of course you can stop by any day when we sample the jalapeno's right out of the jar.

There is a meteor shower that is supposed to be amazing on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The forecast is for increasing temperatures by then and the skies should be clear. We have a skylight in our bedroom and it's fun to do some star gazing during the time of night when you should be asleep. Maybe hot flashes keeping me awake will do some good here.

When we look back over the weekend in the shop, we had a lot of laughs with some youngsters who wanted to try the hottest sauce in the store. For those of you who haven't visited the store, this is the part of the job we love. At first we try and educate by explaining the Scoville scale and the health benefits behind the peppers. This puts a psychological twist to the hottest sauce in the store they are about to ingest. Then they get one drop on a tasting spoon. This sauce takes about 1 full minute to take you on the ride of your life. During the first few seconds, there is a consensus that the sauce has a really good flavor and that it's not really that hot. We tell them to just hang on. Then the ride quickly takes off. After about 45 seconds there is a second rush which has been equated to a rocket booster. Then the endorphins kick in and there is a burst of energy expended by almost every tester. The tears start (in a good way) and sweating with red faces and a lot of whoops and hollers. Of course we get their picture for the chilihead wall and a few take the sugar cube to relieve the heat but others don't want to spoil it. No matter the reaction however, we always get a big "thank you" from these people on their way out the door with the sauce. We even get a few hugs. We simply reply "it has been our pleasure" which it really is. We have so much fun and love the people we have visit our store. Thank you for making this such a fun adventure. Oh yeah, check out the pic of our taste testers this weekend!
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More Observations

Good Evening,

Today was one of those wierd days when you brace yourself for the next customer coming through the door. All day I had a bunch of nay-sayers who were not about to believe me about the health benefits of peppers. I could have had Dr. Oz standing there to confirm everything coming out of my mouth and they still would not have believed me. That's OK. After all, tomorrow is another day and all they have to do is google the health benefits of peppers to see I wasn't making this crap up. This is also why we send out a newsletter! Oh yeah, if you don't currently get our newsletter, either send us an e-mail at or sign up on our website at We won't sell your information at any time and only send you the newsletter full of fun things, recipe's, news from the island and other stuff we find interesting. Of course, our customers give us input about what they want to see so you are a part of this too!

I also learned from a local that our name appeared in another publication called 48 North Sailing Magazine which is a Seattle boating magazine. It's a small blurb but we are proud and can use all the positive stuff we can get. Check out: and on page 50 you'll see Ed's smiling face.

Fair winds and happy trails. We hope you will drop by the shop and say hello. We are always anxious to meet new people who share our passion for this stuff and even those who are a little skeptical.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Observations from the mainland

Greetings all and thanks for taking a look!

Yesterday I ventured off island to the mainland to do some shopping and as always, when leaving on the 5:50am boat, I get a little excited to venture into "America". I have to say that Washingtonian's are very courteous drivers. Growing up in So. Cal., and teaching my children to drive there, I learned all the hand signals, mouthing techniques, and general frustrations of driving along with 3 million other people from your same home town. Not so in Washington. We move into the right hand lane as a courtesy to let that a..hole riding your bumper go faster. OK, I know I'm getting older but I now do the speed limit. In So. Cal, if you did 80 in a 55, you were still getting passed and flipped off. I've learned however. I am also on the constant lookout for anyone with a cell phone held up to their ear or someone talking when there is no other apparent occupant in the car. Singing is excluded however, which I occasionally do when I'm alone. And you can always tell who the singers are by tapping the steering wheel or the head bob. Especially when there's a Michael Jackson song on. I've almost been T-boned a few times at a red light by people not paying attention, so I cross carefully. When did we as people think it was OK to do anything other than pay attention behind the wheel? Sorry, my drivers ed teacher left a lasting impression with me when he explained what 5,000 pounds of metal traveling at 50 m.p.h. can do. Does anyone remember the movie "Red Asphalt"? Anyway, back to the Hot Shop.......

I found some lovely items yesterday and did some real damage to the checking account while purchasing items for the store. I think they will sell, but our customers will let me know how they feel about that. I also learned that what we do in our store with customer service matters more than anything else. The stores I went into didn't greet me. They didn't even say hello while adding up my purchases which I find unconscionable. Without customer service, we have no reason to be in business other than to make a friggin' buck. If that were the only reason we were in business, we wouldn't be in it very long. The people are what matter and when you can turn someone on to our business and the passion of our business, that's the reason we are in business. The money will follow. What gets us excited and makes our 70 hour work weeks is when other people get what we do. This is our passion and we love sharing it with each other and the best customers anywhere. This is just the beginning for us and as our kids come on board to help us grow the business, we will continue to maintain that focus. Our kids have grown up working along side us and worked in the retail business for many years. Our plan is to grow and expand this little shop into something that our customers will be proud to say they knew us when. In the meantime, I'm glad to be back on my rock and off the freeways and highways and the only traffic snarl we have is during the school year when we get behind the school bus in the morning or for people slowing down to take a look at Mona the camel. (That's OK, I'd slow down for her any day. She's so beautiful!).

As always, we would love to hear from you.

Friday, July 30, 2010

So Proud!

Good Morning,

We are so proud of our business and feel so grateful to be allowed the opportunity to live and own our own shop in Friday Harbor. Yesterday, while doing some research I came upon this link:

We are just tickled that other people get the same feelings we have about this industry. We truly have the best time in the shop and treasure each visitor each day. It's so much fun to watch people walk in and take in all the bottles and atmosphere. The music is very important to us and you can frequently hear the sounds of Jimmy Buffet, The Gap Band, Diego Torres, Latin Salsa, Cajun and all types of fun music that kids (of all ages) love to come in and just start dancing to. As the fog this Friday morning lifts and the sun pokes through, we look forward to another spectacular weekend in the islands and just hope that delivery truck pulls up today with many more tiny little bottles to restock our shelves.

We also look forward to our Saturday morning ritual with Cousin Vinny's (across the hall from us) as we splurge and get one of his incredible breakfast sandwiches. We couldn't eat like that every day but on Saturday we're livin' large and put our favorite sauce on these yummy treats. This week, I think either Four Brother's Hot Sauce, Sauce of the Rising Son, Doc Holiday's Feel Good Elixir OR Hot Buns at the Beach. Just too soon to decide yet.

Have a wonderful weekend and treat each other well!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Good Morning,

Our first 3 years of running the shop has lead to some really fun observations of people. There are the young curious kids who want to know "dude, what's the hottest sauce ya' got?" (which is really fun to light them up and then they cry and thank us on their way out the door then they can't wait until their next visit only to do it all over again), to men who come in and gasp saying they have just arrived in heaven because of our collection of the spicy stuff to women who are constantly saying they "can't touch the stuff" because of the heat and they are just shopping for their husbands, fathers or brothers. We do get the occasional woman who can put her man on the mat by trying the hottest sauce in the store and he ends up in tears while she handles it just fine and scoffs at him. Then there are those from all around the country who walk in the door and say "what does a little shop in the Pacific Northwest know about hot sauces?" Hell, I'm from Texas or Arizona or New Mexico or whatever state of choice at the moment. This has always astounded me. Why do you have to come from Texas OR Arizona OR New Mexico to have a great recipe? I personally know a guy who now lives in San Diego who was displaced by Hurricane Katrina and he creates one of the best sauces ever. Voo Doo Queen! Now because he comes from San Diego does that mean he doesn't know his stuff? I think not. Amazing stuff. There are many West Coast producers who aren't getting the recognition they deserve. Which leads me to my next point........!

Our business plan going forward is to create a west coast distributorship on the mainland (for shipping purposes) and open another store attached to the warehouse. The hot sauce industry is exploding and has seen an overall increase of 64% in the past 10 years. People are cooking more at home and they are learning about all the health benefits peppers provide in their diet, as well as the wonderful flavors to experiment with. The people who scoff at "heat" don't take the time to find out that there is a wide range of heat and spice from mild to wild. Our goal is to change their thinking one person at a time. Right now, there are 2 major distributors, however they are on the east coast. We believe the west coast needs it's own representation and promotion. There are many fabulous producers in the 7 western states that could really send the industry reeling. Of course, all this takes time and money. That's what we're working on. We would love your ideas, thoughts, encouragement and anything else you want to send our way to consider. This industry is our passion and we tend to eat, drink, sleep and breathe it on a 24/7 basis. As we move into August, we hope all of you have had a fabulous July and we look forward to the future of what we call our chilihead adventure.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Greetings from Paradise,

This morning while watching the news I realized how thankful we are to live in the great Pacific Northwest AND on an island. San Juan Island to be exact. Some call it Gilligan's Island as there are many colorful characters that live here. Our overall population is about 7,500 people who live here year-round. In the summer the population soars, to what some estimate at over 30,000 people. We don't have any traffic lights and our roads are narrow. In my opinion, too narrow for the bicycle enthusiast's our community attracts. It's a step back in time when you come to the island and some people who are used to the big city get bored quite easily. There are no McDonald's or other fast food chains here and our 2 grocery stores on the island are owned by the same person so we pretty much get gouged in pricing. We do have a community theater which puts on wonderful productions and a movie theater (A 2 plex I think you would call it). With an hour's ferry ride and another 30 minutes by car, we do have access to the big box stores so about every 3 mos. or so we do a stock up run to Costco, Wal-Mart and other shopping destinations. You can always tell who the locals are in the ferry line coming back from a day of shopping by the purchases of toilet paper and paper towels from Costco. And of course there is online shopping which has been our lifeline.

After growing up in Southern California in a small beach community (Newport Beach and Corona del Mar) this is like a throwback to the 60's and 70's. I can remember when our California beaches were a summer destination for vacationers but then each winter we would get our little surfer towns back and await the next tourist season. Then in the 80's moving forward, the tourists never went home. Now my surfer beach town is "The O.C." and home to the "beautiful people", whatever that means. My grandparents had the very first concession stand on Big Corona beach in Corona del Mar before the big huge brick buildings that stand there now. I remember as a tot running through the surf with my grandpa and grandma always had a treat waiting and then in the evening we would have a huge bonfire in the fire rings which are still there today. This is now what I see in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Quiet, warm winters with buzzing spring, fall and summer seasons. If you haven't been to the San Juan's, put it on your bucket list. It's an amazing place which will bring you closer to your true self than you have ever been before.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Monday All,

We thought it might be fun to create this blog for people familiar with the world of spice as well as to introduce new people to the world of spice. We have converted many people who swore they were "allergic" to hot stuff or said they couldn't tolerate the stuff only to find out it actually helped their medical condition. (i.e. sinus problems, acid reflux and even hot flashes and upset stomachs). If you look at the medical sites currently available, capsaicin (the element found in peppers) actually helps with these things. We'll address the issues going forward but I'd like to start with the simplest. As capsaicin speeds up the metabolism, it clears the sinuses as well but also helps in the digestion process. Since many people eat so much processed food, the body is not as efficient in the digestion of these foods so the capsaicin (found in hot sauce and peppers) aids in the efficient digestion of these foods. We're not recommending you keep eating the processed foods but we do suggest a diet rich with "whole foods" and low in sugar, flour and pre-packaged foods. Just think, we might be able to eliminate "the little blue pill" by incorporating hot sauce into the diet. Yes ladies, it works by speeding up blood flow and we all know that the body can't efficiently operate both heads of the male at the same time. Put a little spice in your life and you just might find some new spice in the man in your life. Check out many of the other benefits of this wonder food by clicking on or pasting the following link into your browser.