Pandemic? Don't Panic.

berlin bootstrap fermentation food hot sauce ideas pandemic spicy startup tourism tropical umami vegan

Berlin, January 2021. Dark. Cold. Lockdown. 
This was a difficult time for any startup, but for one based solely on incoming tourism, a heroic challenge to continue to grow.

The startup is called VRWein, a company using virtual reality to enhance wine tastings, and provide virtual tourism to the wine-curious. We were getting bookings consistently and people were actually having epiphanies right before our eyes. Watching people create new neural pathways through gaining an understanding of how to articulate abstract concepts of fruit and spice from aroma in wine is rewarding. The look on people's faces once they "get it" has always been our goal. Then, pandemic. 

Sitting around my kitchen table with the legally allowed two friends from one other household, we discussed what to do. We would cook for each other and have some vino, talk about life, and sit around in a stupor with our jaws hanging open. Hot sauce was always a staple, and I always had a variety. Maybe we just wanted to be warmer.

"You should make hot sauce."  

"I don't know anything about making hot sauce."

And, like most things, I rushed into doing it without knowing much and started making micro batches. It did not take long for me to fall in love with fermentation and the flavors it produces. I dove into research. I had a start, and I was building a recipe. After eating hot sauces for a long time, I found that the flavor and heat from habaneros is what I wanted to build a sauce around. It's a good heat - one that gives the rush of capsaicin but doesn't make you regret eating it. 

After a year and a half of trials and research, Neck Dart Hotsauce is the result. We sold out at our first ever public sales event, and hope to introduce you to our sauces soon.  They are vegan, fermented, and use no plastic packaging. They have a great texture and an ingredients list that will make your mouth water.  

It's strange how ideas come to life, and sometimes extreme situations add just the right amount of pressure to get you thinking in a new way. I hope to share our sauces with you soon. Cheers and stay hot. 


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