PHOENIX — Big Red's Hot Sauce is a homegrown business, built literally from the ground up ten years earlier in owner Paul Ford's garden.
“I had a whole bunch of overgrown peppers and all kinds of ingredients and I came up with a sauce and I decided, let's try out hot sauce, and I gave a bunch of sauces out,” said Paul.
Turns out that decision has led to quite the hot streak for the husband and wife lead venture. Family, friends, and coworkers couldn’t get enough. So Paul and his wife Tasia jumped into the fire headfirst, cashing in their life savings and ditching the nine to five.
“I found out she was pregnant with our first child after I started the company,” said Paul.
“It’s scary of course because we found out oh we’re having a baby and you know you left your six-figure income and now you’re gonna do hot sauce,” said Tasia with a laugh.
“I had to make it work, she trusted me, stood by me,” said Paul.
The anxiety wouldn’t last long. Hot sauce competitions across the country would soon follow and so did the accolades. Now ten years in, eleven flavors, and a half a million bottles later, Forbes Magazine has named the company and its owners to its next 1,000 list.
“I still can’t believe it,” said Paul holding up the newly delivered placard.
He’s honored by the achievement but also using his newly found platform to speak to the next generation of black entrepreneurs.
“I want the next person, the next young Paul Ford, somebody who looks like me to know, you can be whatever you want to be and do whatever you want to do, dreams become goals, goals become reality,” said Paul.
His dream now takes him across the country, meeting celebrities like Master P, who is now his fan because of his sauce. Despite the challenges they faced during the pandemic, this family business thrives on passion and love.
“We really learned that we complement each other very, very well, and it’s been an honor, to work side by side,” said Tasia laughing with her husband.