Why Shaquanda needs your help!
*our rewards date will actually be much sooner! As soon as early next year!*
We were recently left without a home. Our shared kitchen - Pilot Works - abruptly went out of business, and in doing so left us and many other companies without a commercial kitchen to work in. We had to cancel all of our holiday markets, and are unable to fulfill our orders to our vendors. Because of the unforeseen closure of our kitchen, we did not have enough time to catch the window of pepper produce, and more importantly, apply for a new location license and prepare for our winter stock. Shelf stable foods are regulated, and as a result we are required to make our products in regulated spaces – for good reason.
Shaquanda's Hot Pepper Sauce was invited to participate in several markets this holiday season. These included the holiday market in Union Square, the Brooklyn Museum, other boutique food pop ups, and private vendor meetings with distribution opportunities. Unfortunately, we had to decline these invitations because we were not prepared due to the closure of our shared kitchen space. Its like being invited to the ball, and you have no statement earrings and not even a cute dress! Shaquanda became Cinderella without any of her rodent friends or magical fairy godmother. This would've been our biggest year, but we had to cancel.
You can read more about PilotWorks closing here:
Though we are disappointed and sad, we are still very enthusiastic and excited to expand our spicy dimensions to our own kitchen for product development, storage and an office.
Who is Shaquanda?
My name is Andre Springer and I am the creator and founder of Shaquanda Will Feed You LLC. I was born in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, of Barbadian decent and grew up in a household focused around the love for all things food. My Grandmother and I pickled peppers and made sauces together in Far Rockaway, Queens. She was a second mother to me and even though she has left this plane of existence, she still continues to be an inspiration to me. As I grew older, I fell in love with creating art. As an artist, I began investigating symbolism within the African Diaspora, creating work about found and lost objects. I studied Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design at the New School, and at the age of 20 I took on one of my first hospitality jobs - bartending - at a place called "The Slide," on the Bowery in downtown Manhattan. There I met the infamous, beautiful, and incisively clever drag queen legend Linda Simpson. Shaquanda made her first appearance at Linda Simpson's weekly Gay Jeopardy event, and soon thereafter began hosting and performing for the people. As an artist, lover of food, and drag queen, I needed to make something that was most authentically me – hot sauce seemed like the natural next step. And now at the ripe age of none of your business, I have accomplished this feat.
What is Shaquanda's sauce?
Our first product is Shaquanda's Hot Pepper Sauce, made from all natural ingredients. It is pure tasty goodness – a perfected amount of heat and flavor. Enhance and spice up any meal without destroying your palette. No added starches, fillers, or artificial anything.
Shaquanda's Hot Pepper Sauce is an enchanting combination of onions, chili peppers from the Capsicum chinense family, tomato paste, ginger juice, lemon juice, horseradish, mustard powder, turmeric, demerara sugar, and sea salt – all blended and hot pickled in apple cider vinegar.
"A very unique and delicious sauce, simply one of the best" – Chef Ginger Pierce, Jams Restaurant
"This hot sauce is the diggity bomb diggity" Paula Davenport, Bed Stuy native and resident
We are located and available to taste at the restaurants Fat Radish and Post in lower Manhattan, as their hot sauce of choice.
Other places where our product was available:
- Archie's Pizza
- El Vez
- Belle Reve
These amazing places are helping take us in our sauce adventure. Literally riding on a bike to deliver this yummy goodness.
- Campbells Cheese
- Lella Alimentari
- Belle Reve
- Lancelotti kitchenware and gifts
- Court Street Grocers
- Bedstuy provisions
Season your mouth with this condiment – use it as a marinade or rub – there's no wrong way to enjoy Shaquanda's Hot Pepper Sauce. Barbadian cuisine nuanced in a Brooklyn way. This sauce is a reflection of my childhood and life in Bedford Stuyvesant.
This is what we need to do
Our first step is to locate a commercial space true to our ethos in Brooklyn. We will build out the perfect Shaquanda kitchen for spicy product development and fun-size production runs. The space will be divided into an office and a saucy storage area.
Scaling is one of the most difficult transitions in a company's growth. Prior to our shared kitchen closing down, we were limited to making small batches of up to 500 bottles at a time, and were having trouble fulfilling demand at that capacity. With a larger private kitchen space, we can retain the same great quality as before, but increase the volume we are able to make, and grow even larger.
We are looking to start making 10,000-20,000 bottle batches. This requires more capital, storage, license fees, legal fees, insurance, and many other costs and expenses to enter food shows and larger markets.
After we have established a private kitchen and storage, we will register the working space with the Department of Agriculture. After passing inspection we will be able to use the space for product development, small line production for new products, and a home base for Shaquanda to successfully run a business.
Our mission is to be visible on shelves, for all age ranges. We want to make change for those who don't see themselves in the supermarket. Let us spread a message of love, camp, and acceptance.
- January-March — Research for a commercial space and visit viable facilities. Prep work for setup leading into a smooth transition within the space.
- April/May 2019 — Lock in a lease for commercial space.
- May/June — Divide and build out commercial space and register with the Department of Agriculture.
- June/Early July — Make hot sauce again!
- July-August — Send out shipment of sauce and rewards to backers.
Our commitment to the earth
As we grow, all of us need to take an oath to protect our earth. Part of Shaquanda's business model is to constantly grow with the caring thoughtfulness of the ingredients sourced and materials used. Waste is an issue and we need to be responsible with how we make and produce commodities.
I will never put my sauce in a plastic bottle. EVER. We only use glass bottles - not only because glass is infinitely recyclable, but also because it is shiny like a jewel!
Future of Shaquanda Will Feed You LLC
Our Hot Pepper Sauce is only the first product in a goal of creating a line of sustainable food products for all ages, bringing diverse storylines with a variety of protagonists to every label. Giving back to mother nature, providing living payable wages, and a mission to make the world a better place are our guides. Let's bring exciting, healthy, tasty, and natural foods to everyone.
Supporting our Kickstarter not only supports the growth of a fair and just saucedom, but Shaquanda's rewards will take your mouth to another dimension!
Risks and challenges
Logistics and Season: Generally, the season for peppers begins in the summer, sometimes the season is later and sometimes it is earlier. We are trying to stay as local as possible, but are not afraid to go further to get the peppers needed for the first batches. Please keep in mind that mother nature is a diva in her own right, and does her thing when she is ready. The good news: no matter what we will definitely have sauce within any given summer.
What happens if we can't co-pack for any unforeseeable reason? I have been hand making this sauce in batches for several years now. I know the process, I created it. If we can't co-pack, I would hire multiple cooks and produce out of the kitchen if necessary.
If I can't co-pack and the kitchen isn't ready or available: this is a highly unlikely possibility, but in the case that this happens, I can rent a shared commercial space, and produce out of the kitchen while correcting any issues with Shaquanda's space and co-pack.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)