Posted September 24, 2006 by Vic in Makers

Meet Your Maker #16 – Arizona Pepper Company

The Arizona Pepper Company

Arizona Jack

eBay entrepreneur and Semi-Pro Poker player Jack Penrod proudly boasts to be the “#1 seller of the Habanero Beef Jerky on ebay.”, His business based in Mesa Arizona and operating out of a rented restaurant in Scottsdale is growing with leaps and bounds as we speak. Built on hard work, passion, and the inspiration from friends and family, Jack admits he’s holding on tight to this crazy ride. With several delicious types of Beef Jerky and some very tasty as well as collectible Hot Sauces under their belt, the future looks bright for Jack and Shelia’s family owned and operated online business Arizona Pepper Co. soon to be Penrod Pepper Products. Look for a full line label transformation including store friendly barcodes, new Jerky pacakaging, and some highly antcipated new products from this quick moving and evolving company. “It’s all happening so fast” says the guitar collecting new comer to the Chilihead world, “We have TONS of repeat customers from Seattle to Miami, Maine to San Diego.” So put on your running shoes to keep up and your eyes peeled for the new domain name, SUPERSPICY.COM to be on line soon and in the mean time rip open a package of their Habanero Beef Jerky and welcome them to the Blog.

1. Why Hot Sauce? Where did the idea come from for you to get involved doing this?
When the Doctor advised me to cut down on salt, I discovered Hot Sauce. It is so much more healthy and heart friendly, it has replaced the salt shaker on our table.

2. If you had to pick a favorite sauce of yours, which would it be?
Our Death in the Desert is the King of our table by far.

3. Any new products we should be ready for from your line?
We have a Bloody Mary mix used here locally, and our Illegal Alien label will evolve. Insane Deat in the Desert is ready to go, we are just looking for a trick way to sell it.

4. Where do you see the future of Hot Sauce 5 years from now? 10? 20?
I would love to see Habanero Cat Food, Habanero Gatorade, Habanero Motor Oil, etc.

5. What is your favorite Hot Sauce that you don’t make?
Somebody else makes Hot Sauce? LOL! Actually, a women in Rocky Point Mexico makes the BEST seafood Habanero Sauce I have ever tatsed. I am either going to kidnap her or reverse engineer the product. She makes it at home and walks the beach selling it in ziploc bags. It is AWESOME !!

6. Do you eat the sauce you make?
We eat it on everything.

7. What do you eat Hot Sauce on?
STEAK, all meat dishes, Ribs, and Soup, the list is endless.

8. What sets you aside from the other Hot Sauce producers out there today?
We at Penrod Pepper Products are a family owned, family recipe gang, sort of like a Micro Brewed Hot Sauce Mafia. I am the Head Pepper, my wife Sheila is the Legal Pepper, my daughter Alda is the MBA Pepper, and my son-in-law Rich is the Artistic Pepper.

9. What is your inspiration before you embark on a new concoction?
Input from friends, family and co-workers. That’s how the Jackson’s Awesome Habanero Jerky line got started.

Arizona Jack

10. Outside of creating hot products, what else keeps you occupied or out of trouble?
Poker, fishing, quitar collecting, and general mischevious activity.

11. Any weird stories or uses for your Hot Sauce that you would like to share?
YES !!!! I have found that the animals will not cross a Habanero Sauce line in the dirt and eat my garden !! Also, hang green, red and orange Xmas ornaments on your pepper plants in the early stage. The birds get used to the glass, and when the peppers start to fruit, take the bulbs off, and WALA the birds are conditioned to not eat your peppers. I am not a freakin’ genious. Birds love peppers, we have to defeat the Bird War on Pepper Terrorism !!

12. How much sauce do you make in a week?
Some weeks a gallon if we are experimenting, other weeks 20 gallons or more, depending on the distributor demand. We only sell fresh Hot Sauce and Jerky. Never a preservative!!

13. How many different recipes do you go through when developing a new sauce?
Sometimes we hit it quick, others may take months, see answer #5 above.

14. How did you get started in the industry?
I just tried to make the sauce I could not buy, and it went from there.

15. What is your biggest challenge so far?
The legal aspect of the food industry. Sheila is a lawyer and our jump through the legal hoops has been easier than most young company’s. We have built-in legal department, and that has saved us countless bucks.

16. What is the most common question you get?
Can you really sell Jerky om eBay? We started on a suggestion 2 years ago and are now the #1 selling Power Seller of Habanero Jerky. Over 1100+ positive feedbacks with a 99.9% rating.

17. What do you want to know from the readers of the HSB?
Ideas, comments and suggestions. Feedback is awesome especially from a market specific group. It is priceless and others have to pay to have their market researched.

18. What is the typical day for you?
Working my Aerospace day job, then countless hours in the restaurant we rent after hours cooking, packing, inventing, etc. Hopefully soon we will have our own bay or building, this thing is growing like a snowball rolling down hill!!

19. Worst burn ever?
Losing with Aces full of Kings to 4 Kings one seat away from the final table in a poker tournament last year in Vegas. Other than that, Habanero mash splashed over my safety glasses once- Thank God I have a pool in the backyard, the Chlorine felt like Holy Water!!

20. Best burn ever?
When I send free samples of Hot Sauce with a jerky order, or vice versa, and I get a repeat customer over and over again.


Jack Penrod
Penrod Pepper Products &
Arizona Pepper Company
Mesa, Arizona