If you’re looking to add a kick to your meal, one Bronx-based hot sauce company will use community gardens in the borough to create the Queens 7 Hot Sauce.
The Bronx-based Small Axe Peppers was founded by affordable housing developers John Crotty and John Fitzgerald. The duo was working on revitalizing apartments in the Bronx in 2014 and decided to do more for the community.
Crotty and Fitzgerald provide free Serrano pepper seeds to community gardens and buy the peppers at a premium price. They then use those peppers to produce The Bronx Hot Sauce in partnership with Chef King Phojanakong.
Now, they’re expanding their business to Queens. GrowNYC, the organization that runs the Union Square Greenmarket and others like it around the five boroughs, will provide jalapeno pepper seeds to community growers, who will dedicate a portion of their garden to growing the peppers.
Chef King Phojanakong will make the Queens 7 Hot Sauce and include flavors inspired by the “World’s Borough” diversity like jalapenos and fish sauce. Phojanakong, a Bronx native, is the chef and owner of Kuma Inn and Tito King’s Kitchen. The “7” in the sauce’s name come from the seven ingredients used in the sauce.
The Korean American Family Service Center will help grow some of the peppers. The Rockaway Youth Task Force will also help grow the ingredient. The hot sauce will be sold by greenmarkets and companies that stock local products.
“This sauce captures all the vibrant ingredients from Queens’ ethnic neighborhoods in one bottle: jalapeno [peppers] spice up Mexican salsas in Corona; tomatoes are the base of Indian curries in Jackson Heights; and fish sauce adds the quintessential Asian flair in Flushing,” the website said.
In 2014, the company produced 5,000 bottles of The Bronx Hot Sauce and in 2016 production spiked and 70,000 bottles of the sauce were made, according to Untapped Cities.
You can already pre-order a bottle of the sauce, which will be available in the fall. One bottle costs $10 and there is a $5 shipping fee. Proceeds go back to GrowNYC to run their programming and to the community gardens.