Meet Your Maker #20 – Not Yet Famous Marco Di Giuseppe
While Marco’s line of sauces uses the tag line “not yet famous”, anyone that has tried his products can attest to the fact that one day soon that will change. Marco is new to the fiery foods scene from a business perspective but his products certainly don’t show it. He’s hit the fiery foods industry running and hasn’t looked back since. Now, a few words from Marco…
1. Why hot sauce? Where did the idea come from for you to get involved doing this?
It all started at a very early age for me, maybe 6-7?, I was surrounded in Italy by people eating spicy foods (pepperoncini peppers was the hottest at that time there) so at one point I joined the bandwagon and started to enjoy hot foods. I then landed, later on in life, in Jamaica and REALLY start to eat fiery foods, sometimes my mouth was on fire for hours..!!!, man, some of their was hot… but it was heaven..!!! So from there I knew there was no turning back from the fiery cuisine.
2. If you had to pick a favorite sauce yours, which would it be?
I would say that I really do not have a favorite sauce/salsa that I make, I like them all the same, every one of them has a special flavor for different use (I cook a lot with them, my wife and kids do have favorites.
3. Any new products we should be ready for from your line?
We are working on a new line of wing sauces, it is almost ready but we are waiting for another project to come to life, and then they will be released to the public, also in the finishing touches is a very flavorful BBQ sauce, new batch of hot sauce with double the heat and a Red Savina Salsa that is in the early stages and very hot. After that we will see”¦
4. Where do you see the future of hot sauce 5 years from now? 10? 20?
The fiery food industry is growing enormously day after day making flavor factor #1 then the heat, so I am sure in that time we will be seeing more companies putting out products with incredible flavor, that’s our motto now and we will continue to do so.
5. What is your favorite sauce that you don’t make?
When I lived in Jamaica, I became addicted to the Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce, very simple sauce with an incredible Caribbean taste, still my favorite.
6. Do you eat the sauce you make?
Are you kidding me? My family and I go thru probably Â½ gallon of sauce/salsa every two weeks, we are totally addicted to our stuff”¦
7. What do you eat hot sauce on?
Just about everything and anything edible.
8. What sets you aside from the other hot sauce producers out there today?
Let me first say that there are a lot of awesome sauce makers out there making incredible products. Our main reason to be in the market is to provide very flavorful products using our method, with some heat, that will reach a wide variety of people from chili heads to the regular John Doe.
9. What is your inspiration before you embark on a new concoction?
When I try new foods I always put out my million dollars question “What if”, my wife eyes open suddenly and I hear “oh-oh” so here I am in the kitchen concocting what I think could be the right sauce for that kind of food; 90% of the time I get it right but sometimes I have to throw away dinner, the rest you can imagine”¦dog house for me”¦
10. Outside of creating hot products, what else keeps you occupied or out of trouble?
Let’s see, after my regular 9 to 5 job, doing work around the house, coaching soccer for both my kids, playing soccer myself”¦ I definitely do not have time to get in trouble 😀
11. Any weird stories or uses for your hot sauce that you would like to share?
Yes, this one time at one of our shows, this old man started to tell me that he was using hot sauces to mix in his bowl of cheerios and barley and that my sauce would be perfect for the job..!!!! my skin shriveled just trying to imagine that.
12. How much sauce do you make in a week?
As a first go round we used a local co-packer and made enough to have for festivals to promote our products and to get them into local stores. My future plan is to purchase all necessary equipment and be our own manufacturer.
13. How many different recipes do you go through when developing a new sauce?
Mostly I get the recipe down right at the second or third attempt, but sometimes it takes me more then that, usually it happens when I am working with peppers I never used or tried before.
14. How did you get started in the industry?
I was enjoying the flavor and the heat in sauces so much as I stated before that when I landed here in the States I started to master concoctions of sauces and salsas from a variety vegetables/peppers that I grew in my garden or I was buying from the grocery stores. After a lot of parties and people saying that I should have my product on the market, this year me and my right hand person (wife), came to the final decision to take what I was making and enjoying for years to a higher level. Within a few months, we chose a cool name for our products and Marco’s Not Yet Famous Sauces was born, we started with our Mild/Hot sauces and then few months later we added the 3 types of salsa to our line of products.
15. What is your biggest challenge so far?
We are a 5 month old company and being on the road since, weekend after weekend and show after show, we developed a great local support group, but the biggest challenge so far has been finding the time to make the marketing calls to make our products available in stores. Until now we have been pretty fortunate that we have placed our products in places where the client made the phone call.
After the show season we are going to do massive advertising of our products and get them into more stores.
16. What is the most common question you get?
Are you Marco..? If you go look at my site you’ll see our logo on the sides, with my caricature, same as our show banner only 20 times bigger, people look at the banner and look at me, but they still ask me that question. “Give me the hottest sauce you got” is another or “how mild is your mild sauce”
17. What do you want to know from the readers of the HSB?
Feedbacks are always welcome, we started our company based on a mail-in feedback card, so please let me know what you think or make suggestions, as I always welcome them.
18. What’s a typical day for you?
Pretty much everyday is like question #10 except some days where at the end of the day I put on my chef hat and start some kind of concoction and if it goes wrong”¦dog house for me”¦
19. Worst burn ever?
One time in Jamaica this cook in a resort where I used to work prepared this plate for us and it was so f’in hot that I started to cry like a little girl (I still think he added also some weird Jamaicans “herbs” in there), but the worse of all, I got sick to my stomach for a whole week after that.
20. Best burn ever?
I have to say my first time I ate spicy jerk pork”¦.I still remember how good and spicy it was and until now I never found a replacement for that.
Marco’s Sauces, LLC
P. O. Box 356
Keedysville, MD 21756