Tracy McElfresh does not carry hot sauce in her bag, but she and her husband Jeffrey make and sell it.
The Kettering couple debuted JuicyMelt Supreme Hot Sauce to the public at the Oakwood Farmers’ Market Saturday.
The McElfreshs plan to be at the market 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays going forward and expect to see the hot sauce on the shelves of The Butcher Block, 2857 Crescent Boulevard in Kettering, and both Jungle Jim’s locations in the very near future.
“We’ve been working on it for the last 16 months,” Jeffery McElfresh said. “I wanted to get back to my roots with cooking.”
The small batch, handcrafted hot sauce will be part of Weekend of Fire at Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s Fairfield on 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6.
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Jeffery said JuicyMelt Supreme Hot Sauce will be at the Dayton Vegan Food and Drink Festival Sunday, Sept. 29 at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton. The festival begins at 1 p.m.
Jeffery said the reasoning for the company’s names is a marriage of flavors.
The acidity of fruit and fruit juices are added to the heat of chilis.
“We want to make a bright, well-defined flavor profile that could carry that heat and make it delicious,” Jeffery said.
Flavors include Ruby Wizard (grapefruit habanero), OG Catalyst (orange ginger habanero) and All the Fun (white pepper peach).
Beyond the obvious, Jeffery said “juicy” and “melt” are significant words to the sauces.
As for the word “supreme” that’s partly for effect.
“Braggadociousness is not only in hot sauce, but the world today,” he said. “You just have to come out swinging. We are doing everything in our power to bring you the very best sauce.”
Jeffery, the brewer at Yellow Springs Brewery until June 2018, said he has long been a fan of fermentation.
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“I grew up cooking, but I went into beer because it was a good time,” he said.
Jeffery said he was inspired by the hot sauce they saw in New York during a spring trip.
He and Tracy, the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio in Kettering, visited Heatonist, a shop that describes itself as a Purveyors of Fine Hot Sauces.
“I left there thinking this is something you could do,” Jeffery said of the New York trip. “The idea of an artisan hot sauce is starting to grip the nation.”
Jeffery, who wants to get a manufacturing building and eventually a storefront, said he studied canning techniques as part of a University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture program.
The sauces contain no sugar, no extracts, no preservatives or additives and are vegan, they say.
“We are doing all the the work ourselves, all the cooking, all the bottling. Everything,” Jeffery said. “It is very important to us that we are able to control the product from start to finish.”
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