Posted August 3, 2006 by Nick Lindauer in Makers

Meet Your Maker #10 – Big Daddy Jake’s

Big Daddy Jake's Creative Pepper Products

Jeff and Sara Ward are the founders of Big Daddy Jake’s, LLC, Creative Pepper Products. Sara was born and raised in South Texas. Her Mother is a native Texan and her Father is an East Louisiana Cajun. She grew up on Texas Pit Smoked BBQ, and hot peppers right from the garden. Years ago, when she brought Jeff, a Canadian boy from Ontario, to Texas and he tried Pit Smoked BBQ for the first time, he was hooked! (She still thinks that is what made him propose!) They combined their addiction to fiery flavors, with old family recipes, garden fresh foods and all natural ingredients to create Texas Pit Smoked [tag]Hot Sauce[/tag], Pappo’s High In the Saddle BBQ Sauce, Tropical Jelly Mango Habanero, and Tropical Jam Yellow Tomato Jalapeno.

1. Why hot sauce? Where did the idea come from for you to get involved doing this?
We love hot sauce; so much our friends started giving us obscure bottles to try. Mixing them together never got the flavors quite right, so we decided to grow our own peppers and make our own sauce to satisfy our own cravings. Gifts to friends and family of our Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Jams and Jellies created spicy food monsters telling us to offer these products for sale. After winning a few amateur food awards, we did!

2. If you had to pick a favorite sauce yours, which would it be?
Big Daddy Jake’s Texas Pit Smoked Hot Sauce. There is nothing like it on the planet. No one slow smokes 9 kinds of hot peppers on an authentic Texas Pit Smoker. Being from Texas, that pit-smoked flavor is a way of life, why not add that wonderful taste to our hot sauce!

3. Any new products we should be ready for from your line?
Yes, the company is called Big Daddy Jake’s, Creative Pepper Products for a reason. For the past two years we have been testing versions of a new BBQ rub. We have tested it and retested it on briskets, ribs, pork roasts and turkeys, we are very excited about the introduction of Matt’s Pit Master BBQ Rub. It has an incredible blend of pepper flavors with virtually no salt! This rub will make its debut at the Houston Hot Sauce Festival on September 16 & 17, 2006. We will also be adding Tropical Chutney & Cranberry Serrano, for the holidays. A Fiery Green Salsa, from an old family recipe, will be added towards the end of the year, and just after the first of the year we will be coming out with a hotter version of Big Daddy Jake’s Texas Pit Smoked Hot Sauce.

Big Daddy Jake's Creative Pepper Products

4. Where do you see the future of hot sauce 5 years from now? 10? 20?
Scientists will discover that capsaicin is the cure for all major illnesses and hot sauces will be mandatory for a healthy lifestyle! Because of this people will live longer and healthier, hot sauce will be the number one product in the entire world!

5. What is your favorite sauce that you don’t make?
Cocktail sauce, I love shrimp .okay, okay, it is hard to pin down just one but for Jeff it is Slap My Ass and Call Me Sally, the Second Slapping and for Sara it is Joe Perry’s Bone Yard Brew.

6. Do you eat the sauce you make?

7. What do you eat hot sauce on?
Sara: Everything
Jeff: Almost everything, it doesn’t taste so good in beer.

8. What sets you aside from the other hot sauce producers out there today?

There are 3 distinct reasons we are unique:
1. We slow smoke our peppers over natural oak and mesquite woods.
2. We do not use ingredients we can’t pronounce.
3. Only 1% sodium in our Texas Pit Smoked Hot Sauce.

9. What is your inspiration before you embark on a new concoction?
Our inspiration is from family, friends and our own tastes. We are always on the hunt for something new and exciting! Sometimes creativity comes from a craving for certain types of foods, or the addition of hot peppers to an old family recipe! Great Grandma would be proud!

10. Outside of creating hot products, what else keeps you occupied or out of trouble?
Fishing, hunting, cooking and spending time with family and friends around the Big Smoker are always tops on our must do list.

11. Any weird stories or uses for your hot sauce that you would like to share?
We have a friend that keeps buying our Texas Pit Smoked Hot Sauce by the case. We eat a lot of hot sauce, but for the amount he’s buying, we are afraid to ask what he is doing with it!

12. How much sauce do you make in a week?
Never enough, Daddy Jake needs some new nighties!

13. How many different recipes do you go through when developing a new sauce?
This is tough to answer, as some of the recipes have been in our family for generations, and we won’t produce it until our family and friends say Perfect!

14. How did you get started in the industry?
A hard shove from our family and friends, and winning amateur food contests with all of our products.

15. What is your biggest challenge so far?
Trying to get Jake to leave the comforts of his retirement to come to the Hot Sauce Shows in his nightgown to autograph bottles. He is just having way too much fun!

16. What is the most common question you get?
Who’s that guy in the nightgown on your label? That is Jake, Jeff’s father.the nightgown involves some amount of shenanigans and a card game. The story gets stranger from there.

Big Daddy Jake's Creative Pepper Products

17. What do you want to know from the readers of the HSB?
Sara: What would you like to see more of from Big Daddy Jake’s? Good suggestions are always welcome.
Jeff: Why haven’t you gone to Sweat ‘N Spice, www.sweatnspice.com, and bought more of Big Daddy Jake’s Texas Pit Smoked Hot Sauce?

18. What’s a typical day for you?
Lot’s of phone calls, tedious paperwork, and our favorite pastime creating new recipes.

19. Worst burn ever?
Can’t decide between; Sara being 2 years old and sneaking one of her Dad’s little green candies off of his bird’s eye pepper bush in the backyard or Jeff accidentally setting himself on fire, literally.

Oh, did you mean hot sauce burn? Several years ago when we started making hot sauce, we were juicing some smoked habanero peppers in our kitchen without enough ventilation, we nearly killed ourselves and the dog!

20. Best burn ever?

When finally blended the flavors exactly right, our first taste of Big Daddy Jake’s Texas Pit Smoked Hot Sauce was dead solid perfect!

Big Daddy Jake’s products are:

Texas Pit Smoked Hot Sauce
Pappo’s High In the Saddle BBQ Sauce
Tropical Jelly – Mango Habanero
Tropical Jam – Yellow Tomato Jalapeno

Big Daddy Jake’s, LLC, Creative Pepper Products
104 Avalon Drive
Victoria, Texas 77901
361/575-7353 (office), 361/485-2688 (fax),
bigdaddyjakes@sbcglobal.net (email)

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog