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From Surplus to Business

A Story of Beginning from Curtis Harris Jr. owner of Paradise Pickles and Sauce

While visiting Kranz Hill Farms (now The Produce Peddler) in Newark, DE, I overheard a conversation between the employees regarding what to do with 13lbs of surplus Cayenne Peppers. Half joking, I suggested that they simply make hot sauce. To my surprise, they asked me if I were willing to make it myself if they gave me the peppers for free. A few days later, I found myself hauling boxes of peppers back to my house. After giving the owner of the farm samples of the hot sauce that I made from his peppers, he suggested that I sell him a few bottles. I was hesitant, at first, because I wasn’t sure that I wanted to make a business out of something that I enjoy doing for fun.

Less than a year later, while volunteering as a cook at the Sunday Breakfast Mission, lighting struck twice and when I took on the challenge of making use of 30 cases of surplus apples. After making numerous pies and fritters, I taught myself how to make Apple Cider Vinegar and began giving out samples of that product as well. As I continued to receive more positive feedback, I knew that I wanted to share these products with the world, so I then began the arduous process of registering as an LLC, registering with the FDA, and moving my business out of my home and into the Wilmington Kitchen Collective.

At the current time, our main product is our small batch, all natural Apple Cider Vinegar but our expanded line of gourmet artisan goods will also include hot sauce, pepper sauce, and pickled beets, and more to come.

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