A lot of people have asked me how did RocketShip start and where did I get the idea from? Well, I wish I could say that I’ve always had a burning desire to launch my own brand of Hot Sauce and now I’ve achieved my lifelong dream! … ? It wasn’t quite like that ….
I’d been working for a large mobile phone operator for around 16 years, I’ll refer to this as the ‘Day Job’ … it was a great job which I really enjoyed, in actual fact its helped me with the development of RocketShip in some ways. So yes … my background is the polar opposite of sauce production and anything to do with the food industry, which makes the fact I’ve created a hot sauce and have managed to sell some even more remarkable!
I’m talking about the ‘Day Job’ in the past tense now as at the time of writing this I’m no longer doing it …. but more about that later.
It all started about 2 years ago when a good friend and I Dan were travelling home from a business meeting in Newbury, not exactly around the corner from our hometown of Norwich. We did these trips quite a lot so there was always lots of time to chat about all sorts of things. We’d finished talking about the usual work stuff after about 20 minutes into the journey and soon got on to the subject of food … to be honest we always talked about food! We normally discussed, amongst other things, the various ways of making the best roast potatoes, Dan’s key ingredient being a dusting of semolina over them to crisp them up … a great shout to be honest – we’d then move on to things like the critical elements required for perfecting the ultimate Christmas dinner.
On this particular day in question, a Friday, I asked Dan what he was planning on cooking over the weekend, I remember he started describing how he was going to do some roasted veg, then stoke up the BBQ and cook a bit of steak … he then told me he was thinking of making some hot sauce!
Blimey I thought, what a great idea!! … why don’t we both make some and we can have a tasting session to see who’s turned out the best! So there you have it, the conception of Rocketship Hot Sauce was made right there half way between Newbury and Bicester on the A34 one Friday afternoon in May 2018.
That night I googled as many hot sauce recipes as I could, and there’s quite a few out there! I figured out what my base ingredients were going to be and made up a list. The following day I traipsed around the supermarkets looking for what I needed … one thing I noticed was that the selection of available chillies was really poor, Jalapeno’s in abundance, a few Birdseye chillies but anything a bit different like a Habanero or Scotch Bonnet were nowhere to be seen.
So ….. I’d got hold of the main ingredients, peppers, onions, tomato, garlic etc. and carried on looking for the chillies. I wanted to make something that had a decent kick to it, so was aiming for a chilli about 350K on the Scoville scale (yes, I did a bit of research ?)
I then stumbled across a small shop in Norwich that sold all sorts of spices and more exotic ingredients, they also had chillies … I got chatting to the owner and asked him the types of chilli he had … they’re HOT chillies Graham he said, okay but what are they called lol, their name … oh he said they’re Scotch Bonnet – finally I had everything I needed.
I made three small jars and one bottle (which I found in the back of the cupboard) of hot sauce that weekend … I suppose I’d describe it as Original’s little brother, a similar recipe but I’d used some tomatoes but no Paprika … it was okay, for a first go …. Dan never got to make any, but he reckoned my attempt was great, but I think he was being polite ?.
So the whole thing was Dan’s fault lol … it was his idea, and I always remind him of that 🙂 … he’s now known as my ideas man 😉
Looking at this picture now they do look rather dull!!
But I’d got the bug … I carried on tinkering with different recipes, I made one with some apples I had from my dad’s back garden, another one with plums from my Sisters garden … all with a fairly fiery chilli theme.
Next time I’ll tell you about where the name RocketShip came from and how I took the leap to try and sell it.