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We're creating the ultimate destination for hot sauce lovers to discover amazing flavors from around the world.
360 backers pledged $26,817 to help bring this project to life.

About

NYC's Hot Sauce Tasting Room by HEATONIST project video thumbnail
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$26,817

360

THANK YOU to everyone who helped turned this dream into a reality! We couldn't be more excited to be taking this next step with the backing of friends, family, and an amazing hot sauce community. See you at the grand opening April 18, 2015! Special thanks to Brandon Kaplan from Kapgun Media (http://kapgun.com) for our amazing video. Please visit us at http://heatonist.com - T H A N K S ! !

Hot sauce is an amazing thing. It turns ordinary food extraordinary. With it we tailor a meal to suit our taste. It activates parts of the brain in ways that science can’t yet explain, triggering pleasure or pain (or both at once). It’s an addiction. For some, an obsession.

The rise of maker culture has seen thousands try their hand at making hot sauce. Like craft beer in the 90’s, it seems like new hot sauces hit the market every day: there have been over 175 hot sauce campaigns on Kickstarter alone. Never before has there been so much choice for hot sauce lovers. It can be overwhelming.

Since 2013, the mission of HEATONIST has been to curate a selection of the best of these craft hot sauces, representing the spectrum of flavors & ingredient combinations found around the world. We’ve come to Kickstarter to help fund the build of our first physical location - a place to taste - in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Every sauce we carry is made purely from ingredients you could find at a farmers market: no additives, no preservatives, no gums. We enjoy all levels of heat, from mild to scorching, but only as hot as nature allows: no capsaicin extracts. We sell food that goes on food: flavor is our number one priority, and it’s what we look for at every heat level. We currently offer 75 sauces from 25 makers and plan to grow our selection to 150 sauces from 50 makers when the tasting room opens. We’re always updating our selection to keep things fresh.

We’re planting the HEATONIST flag on Wythe Ave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, right near neighborhood staples like Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn Brewery, and Wythe Hotel. We’ve found the perfect space. We’re breathing new life into the century-old Douglas Fir floorboards and setting up a charred oak hot sauce bar. Tasteful and timeless - like a fine hot sauce.

This will be NYC’s first and foremost destination dedicated to hot sauce: a space for one and all to discover new and unique hot sauces from all around the world. You can peruse the sauces and their descriptions yourself, or our hot sauce sommelier can guide you to exactly what you’re looking for. Every sauce is available for tasting: try as many you’d like - or as many as you can handle - and take your favorites home with you.

We’re hard at work booking some great events, like ‘Meet the Maker’ tastings, where chefs, sauce makers, and our friends in the BK food scene stop by to discuss their process and philosophy, and of course answer questions -- great for any aspiring chefs or hot sauce makers out there. Or hot sauce groupies. 

Using data from thousands of tastings we’ve identified the eight parameters most relevant for hot sauce flavor. We’ve applied these, along with cuisine pairings (e.g. Mexican, sushi, Thai) to our database of hundreds of sauces to create an algorithm that will match your flavor profile to sauces you’ll love. As you rate sauces sent to you, that data will also be used to refine what’s in your next shipment. This algorithm will be used to customize your pack for any of the hot sauce subscription awards (1, 3, 6 or 12 months).

My deepest, heartfelt appreciation goes out to our sauce makers, our customers, and everyone who's gotten us this far, especially:

Brandon Kaplan from Kapgun Media (http://kapgun.com) for our amazing video

Tyler McKusick (http://tytycusack.bandcamp.com) for our original music

Team Heat: Sean, Tyler, Noelle, Dave, Jordan & Eleonore 

And special thanks goes to Russell, who truly brought this Kickstarter to life

Risks and challenges

Opening a retail storefront in NYC is no small task, but we have a talented, dedicated team who are making tremendous progress. We signed the lease, got insurance, finalized architectural plans, cleared the asbestos inspection, found contractors, and secured the permits. Now all that's left is to build it and buy some big scissors for the ribbon cutting. Of course, construction is always full of surprises, but we are ready to tackle challenges as they arise. Our timeline is tight, but all of our experts agree it's doable.

Our key sauce makers are briefed on our plans and can't wait for us to open (and to come do Meet the Maker tasting events). Plans are in place to meet our sauce needs as they grow with the Kickstarter project and beyond.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2 or more About US$ 2.00

    If we get 1,000 backers Noah will shave a flame into his beard and wear it to the NYC Hot Sauce Expo on April 26. And post pics of course.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    ONE HOT PIECE OF BRASS - Get your name laser engraved on a brass plaque to be featured at the hot sauce tasting room for all to see. We'll email you a picture of it too.

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    Pledge $36 or more About $36

    1 HOT PACK - Use or flavor profiler to help our hot sauce sommeliers find you 3 sauces for home delivery. USA shipping included. International shipping available.

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    145 backers
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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    ONE SAUCEY EVENING - Select an evening event to attend at the tasting room, complete with sauce tastings, food pairings and drinks. Evenings will be select Fridays & Saturdays through May & June, and each will focus on a particular cuisine. Double the pledge and bring someone you want to get hot & bothered...

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    THE HOT BOX - Kickstart your hot sauce collection with 5 sauces matched to your flavor profile. Also in the box: a set of 4 logo coasters, a canvas market bag, and a lapel pin (so fellow HEATONISTS can recognize).

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    3 PACKS - 3 hot sauce shipments w/ 3 bottles each, customized to your flavor profile and reviews. Select monthly or bi-monthly delivery. USA shipping included. International shipping available.

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    16 backers
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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    6 PACKS (EARLY BIRD) - 6 hot sauce shipments w/ 3 bottles each, customized to your flavor profile and reviews. Select monthly or bi-monthly delivery. USA shipping included. International shipping available.

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    Limited 8 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $190 or more About $190

    6 PACKS - 6 hot sauce shipments w/ 3 bottles each, customized to your flavor profile and reviews. Select monthly or bi-monthly delivery. USA shipping included. International shipping available.

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    2 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    12 PACKS (EARLY BIRD) - 12 hot sauce shipments w/ 3 bottles each, customized to your flavor profile and reviews. Select monthly or bi-monthly delivery. USA shipping included. International shipping available.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    12 PACKS - 12 hot sauce shipments w/ 3 bottles each, customized to your flavor profile and reviews. Select monthly or bi-monthly delivery. USA shipping included. International shipping available.

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    0 backers
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    Pledge US$ 375 or more About US$ 375

    PRIVATE HOT SAUCE TASTING - Invite 9 friends to join you for a private event at the tasting room in Williamsburg. Includes guided tasting with our hot sauce sommelier + food & drink pairings and everyone gets to choose a bottle of sauce to take home. Adding more friends/colleagues is possible, just ask.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    HOTTEST IN THE OFFICE - Keep your workplace cool with monthly hot sauce shipments. Includes 10 bottles/month for 12 months. Good for workplaces with 100-200 employees, depending on how spicy they are. USA shipping included.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    THE GOURMET - You and 7 friends will come to the tasting room for a private tasting event followed by a four course chef's dinner and drinks, each course served with hot sauce pairings. Everyone chooses a bottle of sauce to take home. Adding more friends/colleagues is possible, just ask.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE HEATONIST - We will name our first born after you. Literally. We're planning our first HEATONIST hot sauce, and will name it after you. It will be an extremely limited edition, charred oak barrel aged sauce made with peppers we're growing in the tasting room's back garden with seeds sourced from our hot sauce makers around the world. We'll engrave your name on the barrel, design a letterpress label featuring your likeness, and send you a dozen bottles of it. Also comes with 5 years of monthly hot sauce shipments customized to your tastes (total of 192 bottles). Includes USA shipping.

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Funding period

- (19 days)