Today we’d like to introduce you to Kerry Stessel.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kerry. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started 18 years ago when I played poker with some of my neighbors on Saturday nights. We would all bring some sort of snacks usually involved chips and salsa or pico de gallo. It kind of turned into this friendly competition until one day I decided to take it to the next level and I came up with a habanero hot sauce. Everyone loved it and I made it for years for friends and family and for myself, I’ve always wanted to do something in the food industry because I love to cook and eat and I have a passion for food.
So in 2010, me and my wife and 2 sons decided to start a hot sauce company. I spent 2 years perfecting my first 4 gourmet hot sauces, We officially started the company in 2010 and Hot Line Pepper Products was born. We have grown every year and have gotten into more retail stores as well as restaurants, food service and distributors including a few nationwide deals of approx 2,400 stores. The support and compliments from our loyal customers are what makes it all worthwhile. We just want to share our passion and love for spicy food and make cooking easy and delicious.
As we continue to grow we still remain flexible and changing directions to evolve with the changing food industry. The future of HLPP looks very bright and Hot!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s had it’s ups and downs. Doing our best to take calculated risks while at the same time trying to avoid pitfalls. It honestly takes patience and constant progress to keep moving forward. We have worked on a few major deals that were one and a half years and one we have been working on for 3 years. Sometimes we have to move forward in several different directions at the same time.
Working with major retailers is a challenge. There are a lot of requirements to meet just to qualify to do business with them and it’s not easy to get set up with them. I have climbed giant mountains, got to the top and then got punched in the face!. Yeah it hurts when you have major setbacks but you just have to get up and be persistent and start climbing up to the next summit.
As an Entrepreneur it’s necessary to be able to deal with setbacks, pitfalls and struggles. It’s kind of like, I really care about the business but at the same time I don’t care about struggles. If we have a setback, oh well. I find other angles to go at it a different way until we succeed or we change directions if it’s not a good opportunity for us. I love the climb and the grind and I embrace challenges. I absolutely love it! Progress is my oxygen!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Hot Line Pepper Products story. Tell us more about the business.
We offer Texas made gourmet hot sauces from mild to extreme. We currently have 7 sauces on the market. I’m proud that we all our products have very clean ingredients, Gluten-free, no preservatives, additives sugars, sweeteners or dyes. We are very focused on quality and flavor and have won several awards for our sauces. What makes our sauces unique is that we fire roast the chiles and some of the vegetables to caramelize them and bring out more flavor. Mix any of them with butter or olive oil and saute any protein or veggies, No other ingredients and it will come out delicious. Think of our hot sauces as a gourmet cooking sauce.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
There is no luck. Every little success or “win” I give credit to my family and our employees and vendors. Anything bad or setbacks, I take full responsibility. If something does not go right, It’s my fault. I own the company. It’s ALL on me. Luck is what others may think because they don’t see all the years of hard work, late nights and challenges we face behind the scenes.
- 5 of our sauces retail online for $6.99 and our 2 hottest sauces are $10.99 and $12.99
- Website: www.hotlinepepperproducts.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: mrhotline
- Facebook: Hot Line Pepper Products
- Twitter: @HotLinePepper