The Washington Post: "His condiments and sauces are legendary."
The NY Times: "The hottest culinary experience known to man."
The Wall Street Journal: "The legendary grandaddy of ultra-hot sauces."
He is Dave Hirschkop, the founder of Dave’s Gourmet Fiery Foods and Specialty Foods, which make insanely hot hot sauces, creamy hot sauces and family-friendly pasta sauces.
Over 20 years ago, Dave wasn't trying to start a hot sauce company. He was simply on a mission to create the hottest hot sauce on earth because the drunk kids who kept coming to his burrito joint were annoying AF.
He thought it'd be funny to fry their taste buds and revel in their misery. Except they weren't miserable. They loved every second of it, and soon, Dave was bottling his sauce and slanging it way beyond his restaurant.
When people told him the sauce was "insane," he took it to heart, naming it "Insanity Sauce," and crafting a persona that included wearing a strait-jacket to expos. To date, Dave's is still the only sauce that's been disqualified from The National Fiery Food Show for being TOO hot.
On this show, I took full advantage of Dave's 23 years in the business to grill him on what's changed, the mistakes he sees new entrepreneurs making, and his process of creating products, including an R&D project his team has been working on for six years.
Dave also shared some insight into how he chooses new products and categories to launch, how he's stayed motivated year after year, and the true role of a CEO.
As someone who's proven longevity in the food space, this interview is an incredible resource for founders old and new.
Full show notes: wecouldmakethat.com/dave