Happy New Year!
I want to take this opportunity to wish all of our customers, old and new, the happiest of years for 2017.
There’s no denying that 2016 has been a turbulent year in terms of political affairs, so let’s hope the coming year will bring a bit more stability. Also a touch more sunshine wouldn’t go a miss!
We’ve had a great year at Khoo’s Hot Sauce, and what better time to reflect on it than the ringing in of another twelve months.
Highlights of 2016
We were nominated as one of the top five brands in Sheffield for the Exposed Magazine Award’s ‘Made In Sheffield – Best Local Brand’ category.
Way back in March we were honoured to receive our nomination and invitation to the Exposed Awards. We didn’t win the first place prize, but we couldn’t think of a better Sheffield brand to have lost to than Henderson’s Relish.
It was a great evening with a fantastic performance from K.O.G. and the Zongo Brigade. Fingers crossed we get nominated again this year.
Our new bees survived the winter
At the tail end of 2015 we took delivery of our very first beehive. A small colony, homed in a standard WBC style hive, bought from a friendly local beekeeper called Robert.
Being inexperienced beekepers we were afraid we might lose the colony over winter, as can often be the case, but our new friends were still alive and began happily doing their thing again in spring.
We think they may have lost their queen and took a while to replace her in early summer, so numbers remained on the low side for most of the year, but by autumn they had recovered so we’re looking forward to plenty of honey in 2017.
We doubled our overall chilli harvest from 2015
This year we harvested nearly twice the weight in chillies that we harvested last year. I’m confident I can attribute most of this increase to a few changes in growing techniques this season, I learnt a lot in 2015!
This year I made more space in the raised beds for our superhot chinense varieties and relegated a lot of the annuums to containers and buckets. I also implemented a new eight pot passive hydroponic area of my own design. Overall I got much more out of the space than I have done previously.
Pollination rates were far higher this year, I think we have our new colony of bees to thank for that.
There are definitely still a few areas that can be tweaked next season though, so hopefully we’ll increase our overall harvest again.
We won our first Fine Foods Guild Great Taste Award
We were absolutely made up to receive our first Great Taste Award. The Fine Foods Guild awarded us one star for our Heavy Smoker sauce. This really meant a lot to me as the Heavy Smoker is my pride and joy. It’s a recipe I’ve been perfecting for years and to win such a prestigious award for it was a dream come true.
The judges commented:
Smoke on the nose and a ‘gentle’ richness to the sauce. We found this same gentle nature to the taste with no element overpowering any other. A natural savoury flavour to this sauce gave us much enjoyment, with no tendency to sweeten or thicken the product. Well done.
We launched our new website and online store
After years of planning and plenty of false starts we finally got our new website off the ground.
This would have never happened were it not for our incredible webdesigner Chris Sampson. Chris approached us offering to help after buying some sauce on a market and noticing that we didn’t have an active site at our web address. Since then Chris has gone above and beyond in order to make our website a reality and he’s done an incredible job of it.
Having the site gives us another way to interact with you guys and gives you the quickest and easiest way to buy our sauce from the comfort of your own homes.
We complied with the new Nutritional Information guidelines
OK, so this one isn’t quite so exciting, but still a big thing and quite a bit of work to get sorted.
Earlier in the year all of us food producers were briefed that we would have to provide a full nutritional information breakdown on the packaging of all of our products by December. This meant having all of our recipes analysed and all of our labels redesigned.
It was a lot of paperwork and headaches, but it is done, and our new labels will be hitting the shelves in the new year.
All in all it’s been a really good year for us.
But we’re only just getting started. We’ve got a lot of stuff in the pipelines for 2017. New products, new retailers, more online and subscription buying opportunities for our customers, an email newsletter, regular recipes on the blog, and who knows what else.
This is the place to check for all updates, and if you want to make sure not to miss out on anything be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter on the main page of this site.