Only in Akron can one have a conversation at a bar with a person you sort of met at a meeting that morning about a crazy idea, and have that person encourage you to pursue that idea and help you follow through with your idea. This is exactly how our journey with Not Yo' Daddy's Mexican Hot Sauce started.
That person, crazy enough to entertain the idea of making and selling Mexican Hot Sauce was Kaley Foster, Owner of Urban Buzz. She hooked us up with her friend Jason Lancaster, Owner of Highland Pasta Company, so we could learn about the requirements and such of starting a food business. A few weeks later Kaley challenged us to actually make the hot sauce by inviting us to be part of the Akron Art Museum's event: Different Faces of Akron. That day we gave away over 30 (8oz) samples of Not Yo' Daddy's.
Days later, the enthusiastic and ever persuasive North Hill leaders, Tina Ughrin, Co-Owner of Smile Minded Smartworks, and Maria Mancinelli, Community Outreach Coordinator at the International Institute of Akron, invited us to be part of Akron Better Block. Dozens of Akronites and North Hill residents stopped by that weekend to purchase Not Yo' Daddy's, so many that we had to go make more that Saturday night.
The excitement of many Akronites of finally having a hot sauce with plenty of heat and lots of flavor kept our momentum going. Much of that energy stemmed from the young professional circles, specifically the group that partook in #Akron2Pittsburgh. Akron's famous Nicole Mullet (no intro needed) invited us to be a part of that trip, and thanks to that invite we were able to deepen existing connections, make new ones, and feed off of their ideas and passion.
Soon after the trip we connected with Liz Tyran, Owner of Urban Eats, Liz, being a fan of Mexicans and Mexican food, wanted to feature Not Yo' Daddy's on Urban Eats' menu, so we made it happen. We delivered over 64 oz of Not Yo' Daddy's Mexican Hot Sauce and Jason Scala, Urban Eats's chef and also an artist, delivered Pecos Liz and La Arriba.
#Akron2Pittsburgh also allowed us to make the connection with the multi-talented, charismatic and visionary owner of Akron Honey Company, Brent Wesley. Brent was kind enough to open the doors to his successful Market Day event to us and some of Akron's local favorites: Akron Coffee Roasters, Sweet Mary's Bakery and Urban Buzz. Brent wanted his 2nd Annual Market Day event to be all about the food, so we responded to his call and brought the updated Not Yo' Daddy's look along with some nevadas and molletes for people to taste. Mary Hospodarsky, owner of Sweet Mary's Bakery, brought it big time by coming up with a brilliant savory granola mix featuring Not Yo' Daddy's Mexican Hot Sauce, needless to say it was a BIG hit and she sold out!
Along this journey there was one couple and their business that made it possible for us to get Not Yo' Daddy's off the ground, our friends Reynaldo "Chinquas" and Marisol, Owners of Taqueria El Paso (formerly El Paso Taco Truck). Marisol and Chinquas generously shared time and space (and food!) in their kitchen in order for us to make Not Yo' Daddy's Mexican Hot Sauce. Without their help we wouldn't have made it, so please please please, stop by their restaurant - where you are certainly going to find some of the most legit Mexican food in Northeast Ohio - and eat there; tell them Cristina and Richelle sent you, just make sure you are hungry because they will give you a feast!
So to all of you: muchísimas gracias! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have all been extremely kind and helpful in getting Not Yo' Daddy's off the ground. We look forward to having all of you in our corner as we keep going!