Posted October 19, 2005 by Nick Lindauer in Reviews

Sparky & Spike’s Hot and Spicy Pepper Relish

Sparky & Spike's Tangy Pepper Relish

Sparky & Spike's Logo
Over fifty years ago, two little boys watched in wonder as their Grandmas ‘put up’ various preserves, vegetables and their family favorite sweet relish. Today, those two little boys are all grown up and have created Sparky & Spike’s Tangy Pepper Relish.

Brothers, Cliff “Spike” Shaffer and Scott “Sparky” Shaffer started making pepper relish four years ago for family and friends.

“We found a pepper patch in Strasburg, a pick-your-own place. We went down and picked peppers and went back to (Cliff’s) kitchen and made a mess. We worked all day then we stood back and said, that’s a lot of work for 80 jars,” Scott said.

People kept telling them they should sell the relish, but Scott said it took so much time and work to make, they’d have had to charge a fortune per jar. Then they heard about a private-label cannery in Cleveland. They bottled their first batch – 1,600 jars – in July.

“My brother put them in his car and started knocking on doors,” Scott said. “By the first of August we were out.”

Scott said the relish is made with various peppers, “no fillers or cheap stuff” such as tomatoes or onions.

“We think it’s more versatile than a salsa,” he said. “This is a recipe additive.”

Scott recommends adding it to deviled eggs, coney sauce and marinades, and spreading it on burgers and sandwiches.

Scott says nobody is more surprised by the success than he and his brother.

“We’ve had have no experience in the food business. I’m a car guy, I sell car parts. My brother is a retired schoolteacher who now owns a travel agency,” he said, laughing. “It’s been a blast.”

Cliff & Scott - Sparky & Spike's Tangy Pepper Relish

The Hot & Spicy version is not very spicy by my normal standards – but the flavor is wonderful. On it’s own, the taste is a bit off putting, but mixing with a bit of cream cheese creates an outstanding dip and bagel spread.

Cliff & Scott - Sparky & Spike's Tangy Pepper Relish

    Additional Suggested Uses:

  • Straight out of the jar with chips
  • On any type of sandwich-especially grilled burgers, dogs, brats or chicken.
  • Add it to your favorite pasta salad recipe to give it some flair.
  • Mix it with cream cheese for a zesty dip.
  • Add it to stir-fry.
  • Mix it with your favorite salad dressing.
  • Mix it in your favorite potato salad recipe.
  • It makes day old pizza come back to life.

Sparky & Spike’s Tangy Pepper Relish
8079 Brooke Hollow NW
Massillon, OH 44646

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog