The Soul of a Hot Sauce Brand
“If you don’t got sauce, then you lost. But you can also get lost in the sauce.” –Gucci ManeHot sauce is more than just a chicken wing’s best friend or a triple-dog-dare to see who can handle the hot pepper you have to sign a waiver for. It is more than the caddy at the end of the table on taco Tuesday and is worth far more than a steamed oyster on a saltine.
Hot sauce, dear friends, is an art.
We sat down with our friends at Lost in the Sauce to find out what it really means to craft a hot sauce based on flavor and more importantly, the experience. Founded in 2018 by dynamic-duo, Karthy and Doris, these Toronto-based sauce gurus bring some serious heat to The Six, and well, everywhere for that matter. Sharing their passion for flavor, experience, and putting your soul into every bottle, Lost in the Sauce knows how to keep it hot and spicy.
What inspired you to choose hot sauce as your medium to make a positive difference in the world?
Food brings people of all sorts together—and when you’re the one with the sauce at the cookout, you’re bound to get a crowd gathering around to dash some on their plate.
The first thing my friends and I would ask for when eating at our friend Brandon Boodoo’s house was his dad’s delicious pepper sauce. When Brandon tragically left us in 2017, we carried on his spirit with his dad Eddie’s blessing by starting LITS and releasing that homemade pepper sauce with our spin on it and calling it the OG Boodoo. We think he would’ve loved that we continue bringing people together now just like he used to.
How did you come up with the name “Lost in the Sauce?”
The name got inspired from rapper Gucci Mane’s classic line during an interview about sauce: “If you don’t got sauce, then you lost. But you can also get lost in the sauce.” He speaks about sauce metaphorically, but we wanted to incorporate that into our brand as we envisioned the experience someone has when they have food paired perfectly with the right sauce. What immediately pops into my head when having an amazing meal is Homer Simpson drooling and then becoming lost in a trance for a few seconds as if I was falling down into the rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland. We want to provide that euphoric experience every time someone uses our sauce on what they’re eating.
What sets LITS apart from other hot sauce brands?
Whereas many hot sauces out there focus on creating something super spicy or may lack originality in flavor, LITS emphasizes flavor vs just heat. We want our sauces to complement rather than overtake the dishes they’re paired with. All of our sauces are vegan, gluten-free, and all-natural and you can actually taste and see the fresh ingredients within every bottle.
Why is this brand and mission so important to you?
The major driving factor behind our brand is our strong belief in putting your soul into what you’re passionate about and having fun while doing it–thus the name of our parent company SomethingWithSoul Inc., that LITS is the first project to be produced under.
We want to show how valuable the customer experience and interaction is when coming up with a brand…at our events you get to see the LITS crew in full-effect and talk to the actual people behind the product. Our customers are often surprised to see that and love getting to know more about us as young entrepreneurs who took a risk on something they love. That human touch is something we feel is super important and often missing from products in general.
How do you come up with your hot sauce recipes?
A bunch of different things inspire us when creating sauce recipes but often it’s by experimenting like mad scientists in a lab through trial and error that we come up with most of our flavors. We try to create unique flavours that we haven’t seen before; pair different things you may normally not find together; start with a base item like a fruit or vegetable to balance the peppers used; have the taste in mind or a food pairing and try to create the sauce. Often, we go through multiple iterations before landing on the final recipe.
Greatest song of all time with “Lost” in the title?
Toss up between “Lost Ones” by Jay Z and “Lost in the World” by Kanye West. Both iconic tracks about finding yourself through everything life has to throw at you.
Your opinion of JJ Abrams “Lost?”
Haven’t seen it personally but looked stressful to watch.
Best way to get lost?
Don’t overthink things, play the “Legend” album by Bob Marley & the Wailers, tune out the noise, and take a moment to enjoy everything life has to offer. We’re often on the move so much that we don’t pause to appreciate the good things we have and can look forward to.
If we’re talking sauce, then grab some comfort food like chicken strips, add drops of different sauces onto a plate as if you were about to paint a masterpiece (like a paint palette) and dip into a different sauce before each bite.
What is your favorite food to put hot sauce on?
Chicken wings—flats!—, tacos, pizza. In reality, we use hot sauce on almost everything so it’s really hard to pick just one thing.
If you eat something that is insanely hot, what’s the best remedy to cool off your tastebuds?
Hot sauces are acidic so they need items to balance their acidity and heat. Our top picks for remedies: cucumbers, bananas, bread, milk, coconut water, chocolate, yogurt.