Now if I tell you I conducted an interview with a box making company, your first thought is…boring! But when I tell you I scored an interview with the founder of two Hawaii based companies, Hot Sauce Box, and Adoboloco, I know you are all ears. Well, below is the interview with Tim Parsons, the maker of Adoboloco hot sauce and creator of the patent pending Hot Sauce Box. So without further ado, please enjoy another rare insight into the hot sauce industry! – Lane Williams
What inspired you to make the first Hot Sauce Box?
Being in Hawaii we have to ship almost everything in our out. After starting Adoboloco we figured out quickly that we needed to find packaging that could handle multiple bottles safely to any location. And we had to be able to ship them at a reasonably low shipping cost. It was out of necessity, since I couldn’t find anything on the market that already existed.
Now I live near Atlanta, GA and have securely received sauce in a Hot Sauce Box. But what is the farthest distance you have known a Hot Sauce Box to travel?
Our boxes have traveled as far as: Hong Kong, Australia, Dubai, Japan, Philippines, Germany, Sweden and Chile. We’ve sent so many out that I’m probably forgetting a few far flung places they’ve gone. During development we tested the box by putting the same box on a round trip to the West Coast and back to Hawaii to make sure it could survive fully loaded.
You also make a hot sauce on the market called Adoboloco. Tell me more about this sauce.
Adoboloco sprouted from a home school gardening project in Maui, Hawaii. Now the hot sauce business involves the whole Parsons family and is being used as a teaching platform for their children’s education. We partner with small local farms to source the fresh ingredients for our unique and delicious sauces.
The way we grow and select chili peppers from our farmers is similar to fine wine or coffee. Adoboloco hot sauces are based on the flavor of the pepper varieties. Just like a crop of grapes or coffee, the seasonal and environmental changes can affect the flavor, color and heat levels. We embrace these and mention it on each bottle.
Adoboloco hot sauce is naturally preserved by the ingredients in the sauce. We don’t use any fillers, gums, oils or sugars to thicken our sauces. They’re totally natural and you can taste the difference. All of our hot sauce flavors only have 4 ingredients… total. Except for the Pineapple Habanero Hot Sauce, it has 5 ingredients and a whole lot of naturally sweet fresh Hawaiian Pineapple.
Normally this question is about a chicken and egg, but in this scenario, what came first, the box or the sauce?
The sauce came first. We never planned to start a hot sauce company. It quickly evolved from people wanting more and more of the sauce we originally made from the Jalapénos that grew in our Home School garden.
With both the Hot Sauce Box, and Adoboloco as a success, what piece of advice would you give to hot sauce makers and entrepreneurs still in the startup phase?
Start up phase? We just made 3 years in the hot sauce business.. It feels like we’re still in that phase. My advice would be to learn, learn, learn, work tirelessly at what you believe in and don’t give up.
I recently wrote this about getting into Costco… you might find some interesting bits of info in there too. View the article here >
I try to end all my interviews with a fun question, and this one in particular has always stumped me. Since you already live in paradise… where do you vacation?
Hahaha… Yes Hawaii is beautiful. We do staycations and we’ve done road trips all the way up the West Coast. Gone to NY City and upstate a couple times. Love upstate NY! Next big trip we’re hoping to do a road trip through the South and hit up every single BBQ place we can find. Would also love to spend time in Wyoming, Montana and Southern Canada one of these
Thanks for reading!