It's been quite a while since our last customer spotlight! Around 2 months! I think it's about time we rectify that problem and dive into a conversation we recently had with Pip's Hot Sauce!
Pip's Hot Sauce is a Birmingham based hot sauce company who have been working with Sen5es for years. As you will learn from our chat below.
Tell us a little about Pip’s hot sauce?
Pip's Hot Sauce is a range of hot sauces and stuff, made by me, Pip. With the help of my partner Matt. I absolutely had no idea that Pip's Hot Sauce was going to become a business when I started making hot sauces. I just really like hot sauce and could not easily find what I wanted at the time. Making my own seemed like the obvious solution.
Word got out locally about what I was up to, after friends I’d gifted sauce to started recommending it. Very suddenly I found that I had a large order from one of our favourite food pubs (actually the place I’d been having lunch when I came up with my first recipe). At the same time that happened I was offered a share on a farmer’s market stall. That was nine years ago now but it still feels like five minutes.
I’m very much a Brum based indie and that’s the way I like it. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to expand but it's never quite seemed right for me. I kind of like where we are now. I was nominated as a Brummie Legend by Independent Birmingham not so long ago!
Like everyone 2020 was a bit surreal. Watching all our wholesale customers struggle has been so hard, but I know they will come up smelling of roses when they can. Our customers have been freaking amazing and so so supportive. Having my name in the product name was not my idea but I think it's really helped give the brand a bit of personality, which means so much. It was unintentional but I think if I had ever sat down and done any planning I would have gone for it still.
What makes Pip’s hot sauce so great?
Oh cheers! Glad to know you think they are great too. Every recipe is my own creation, there are no unnecessary ingredients. They are all vegan and I suppose because I make them in small batches, the quality control is always on point!
It's nuts knowing other people love what you make. I think I get maybe a bit more excited when I see someone singing the sauces praises in a social media post, than I do when we win an award. Lol. Not that I don’t like winning awards too!
We love your labels and designs. Who designs them all for you?
When I first started, I had to hurry to get a label made for that big order for the pub I mentioned. I asked my friend Chris, who is a designer (would have been a bit weird if I asked him and he was a plumber!).
I crowd sourced the name of the sauce, La Boca del Diablo, through mates on Facebook. Chris was the one who decided that I needed a brand name. As he thought I'd come up with more recipes. It's his fault it’s called Pip's Hot Sauce!
Chris has done most of my bottles although as I know lots of artist here in Birmingham, I like to work with them too. My oil label was designed by Si Peplow. I worked with Fokawolf on my Cure for Life sauce. Killer Bangs, who is actually a jewlery designer, but heller cool, did my bloody mary sauce. And the U OK H’Onions label was designed by Tat Vision. I think working with other people reflects the communal spirit of the Brum indie scene.
Your pictures are also really great on your website. What tips would you give to another artisan producer for photos of their products?
Get someone else to do them!!!!! I hold my hands up, I’m rubbish at taking pics. It's actually something I’m working on at the moment. I think my pics across my website and socials are shocking. Wes, the photographer for Digbeth Dining Club is virtually working with me right now to help me improve. So watch this space. If I don’t drive Wes mental first, there should be some improvement soon!
I see you also have your own clothing line inspired by your sauce! When did that start?
I started that in the Summer. I’ve sold bags with the logo on almost right from the beginning. It's such a cool logo, it works brilliantly on a tote bag. I love it when I’m out and about and I spot someone using a Pip's Hot Sauce tote and now wearing a Saucy Bab t-shirt. I really just started doing the t-shirts as a bit of a laugh. They have gone down really well though.
You have been a customer of Sen5es for a long time. How is it working with us? Which of our bottles do you purchase? Would you recommend us to other businesses?
I feel like we have kind of grown together and I know there is loads of stuff we have both learned along the way! I couldn’t think of a better supplier to work with but then we are both probably way too laid back!
I have recommended Sen5es to loads of businesses and will continue to do so. To me it feels like we are part of the same team! As a small independent, who doesn’t need the reassurance that, that gives.
Pip's Hot Sauce has been such a great customer of ours over the years and it was great to chat to her about how her business began and all about her sauces and stuff! If you want to find more about Pip and her hot sauces. Head over to her website here.
At Sen5es we believe getting to know your customer is important and we love to learn more about their varied businesses. If you want to be featured in our customer spotlight blog, please get in touch with us today!
All the best
The team at Sen5es