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Meet local maker Pip's Hot Sauce
Legends of the Birmingham Independent scene, Pip's Hot Sauce is forged into the fires of Birmingham. The sauces are made by people who love flavour as much as fire, for people who love flavour as much as fire. Independent, multi award winning and Brummie through and through, Pip's is a sauce that celebrates the vibe of Brum. Not just through banging flavours but from collaborating with other Brum Legends known for celebrating our unique city!
What first fuelled your passion to make/ create your designs/ products?
I've always been a dabbler with preserves and pickles, I suppose it is my creative outlet. I've also always preferred things on the spicy side. I think both of those things together meant that it was inevitable that I'd get involved in making my own hot sauce at some point, the fact that it turned into a business is an absolute bonus!
Tell us about the origins of your business.
Many many moons ago my other half, Matt, and I were having a pizza for lunch in The Plough in Harborne. I'm not going to lie, I was in a vile mood and being super grumpy. At the time there was no hot sauce available to put on my pizza, so I was having a proper moan about it. To shut me up, so he could enjoy his pizza and pint, Matt suggested I write a recipe for my ideal sauce. I did, and what's more, when we got home I made it. It was around Christmas, so I put the sauce in jars and gave them to mates as presents. Every single one wanted more as soon as they ran out. I got myself some proper bottles and my friend Chris from Fade In Digital designed me a label. Funnily enough The Plough were my first customers. The owner caught me using my own sauce, tried it and put in my first ever order!
What’s your motto?
Life is too short for a bland breakfast!
How would you describe your designs / products?
Spicy, 100% Brummie made , independent
What was the first success / landmark moment for your designs / product range?
The obvious thing to say would be when we first started winning awards. We have won the BBC Good Food Show award and have 7 Great Taste Awards from The Guild of Fine Foods too. Those things are brilliant but what has really touched home was being described as a Brummie Legend by Independent Birmingham. I just can't think of anything to top that!
Tell us about your materials - where do you source your materials from?
I'm so lucky to have easy access to the world famous Birmingham Wholesale Market! I love it there too. Some of the lads there are utterly hilarious!
Tell us about your making process?
My making process is completely unautomated so its much like cooking a sauce at home but with much much bigger pots!
Have you had any interesting commissions?
Not really commissions but we have done some fabulous collabs. We produced the first hot sauce in the UK to have CBD oil in, that was a collab with Provide and Fokawolf. I've also done a collaboration with Brummie legends Home of Metal which is super exciting!
Do you have a favourite of the Birmingham museums? If so, why?
I absolutely love the dinosaurs. When I was little my sister and I regularly entertained ourselves in the museum and my sister used to run ahead to press the recording to scare me out of my tiny wits!
And finally, a tourist arrives in Birmingham for the first time ever, where do you take them?
Digbeth, followed by the curry mile. Digbeth covers pretty much everything. From historical buildings like the Institute to The Rainbow, graph featuring important cultural aspects of brum, like Black sabbath, to the future of Birmingham and its vibrant artistic and independent scene. Also having spent much of my adult life mooching round there for one thing or another I think I'd be able to have a stab at a fairly decent tour there. Finishing the day with a curry on the curry mile. I must admit that I never order a balti when I'm in a restaurant, I'm a bit of a devil for South Indian curries but I think it would be remiss of me not to introduce our visitor to the delights of a balti and a ridiculously large family nan bread!