While chewing down on some chicken wings during a recent episode of popular Youtube show Hot Ones, Charlize Theron delivered a celebrity endorsement for a made-in-Hamilton hot sauce.
Hot Ones host Sean Evans interviews celebrities like Theron, Kevin Hart, Terry Crews and Shawn Mendes while they eat chicken wings flavoured with ten different hot sauces of increasing spiciness.
‘Dawson’s Hot Sauce: The Original Hot,’ made by Hamilton’s Brodie Dawson, is the fourth hottest on the list this season but, according to Theron, the star of Mad Max: Fury Road, Monster and many more films, the sauce “has a lot of flavour.”
Theron described the Dawson’s bottle as “very pretty with soft writing.” She said “it’s somewhat romantic and I think that’s just to **** with me, because it’s really going to be not romantic.” The sauce is a “single pepper sauce” featuring red Habanero peppers.
It’s “fun to watch these people just eating our sauce,” said Dawson, “And seeing someone like Charlize say our company name is kind of funny.”
‘Different in every way possible’
When Dawson first started making hot sauce, he never thought it would become a company selling eight hot sauces.
He founded Dawson’s Hot Sauce in 2013. Each sauce he sells is formulated, cooked and packaged in Hamilton.
From a chocolate chili sauce for desserts to a ghost pepper sauce with a lot of heat, he said he wants to make sure each one they sell is “different in every way possible,” right down to the colour.
Dawson’s Original Hot is a classic orange-toned red, while the Sweet Pear Chili is yellow.
Each of the formulations start with him thinking about his own preferences and what he likes to eat, he said, which is how a lot of hot sauce makers will begin.
The company will be releasing some new sauces soon, after they sort through the higher volume of work that’s come as a result of being featured on Hot Ones.
Growing slow and steady
Being featured on the show has been good for business. He said sales have gone up roughly 10 times compared to where the company was last year.
Just last week, he was busy finishing up a bulk order of the ghost pepper sauce for a client south of the border.
“We were doing 500 bottles a day, all last week,” he said. “By Friday, I was just so tired.”
Until Hot Ones the company had been experiencing slow but steady growth.
Dawson said he hasn’t borrowed money, received investments or have hired people to spread the word about his hot sauces. However, “things are growing in their own organic way.”
Last year they have no employees and now they have three.
But he’s still hitting the kitchen to figure out the next recipe, and also doing the cooking and packaging himself — right here in Hamilton.
“We’re kind of in a spot now where we feel relatively accomplished and we can still see this company continuing to grow,” he said.
“It’s wild to think how things actually panned out.”