How it all Began

My wife, Roberta, has been making hot sauce in our kitchen for 30 years. Every week, I would bring some to the plant in suburban Philly where I work. On Fridays, we were in the habit of laying out a spread of wings, ribs and other food for employees, and anybody else who stopped by. All kinds of people dropped in: friends with the day off, unemployed friends, sales people, the local bank manager, delivery men, everybody who knew we had an open door policy. Some of the visitors weren’t hot sauce fans and said so. But they gave it a shot, and whether they tried it on wings, ribs or something else, to a person they loved it.
The sauce was hot for people who didn’t like hot sauce, but once they got over the initial sweat, the endorphins must have kicked in and they couldn’t stop eating.
Near our plant was a restaurant called Tequila Joe’s. We would often go there after work for snacks. They featured a $1.00 taco, which was very popular with the patrons. The sauces they offered, however, were pretty run-of-the-mill—the kind of thing you’d find anywhere. We asked if they minded if we brought in our own sauce – just for our own consumption. Before long, the waitresses and bartenders asked if they could sample it. They loved it!
So we supplied the wait staff with their own personal stash. Sometimes the customers would ask the wait staff if they had anything better than the sauces on the tables. Matter of fact, they did. And out came Rocky’s Hot Sauce.

In time, Rocky’s became the sauce of choice at Joe’s. On more than one occasion I would be sitting at a table, or at the bar when a customer would come up to me and ask where he/she could purchase Rocky’s. I was flattered, but I didn’t have an answer. Eventually, the owner of Joe’s noticed that after the customers had paid their bill and left, the sauces had disappeared from the tables. We knew we were on to something.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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