The sauce recipe was created by Phojanakong, a childhood friend of Crotty's, who is also chef and co-owner of Kuma Inn in New York City. He is well versed on working with sauces: His restaurant offers dishes that features everything from Asian Fusion to traditional American fare.
The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce has just six ingredients and is truly farm-to-table, retailing at 100 stores throughout the tristate area, including Citerella, Gourmet Garage and Whole Foods, as well as in stores in Oregon and Washington State. For the past three years, the sauce was made and bottled at an organic food incubator space in Queens.
"It's just amazing — everybody feels great because they actually saw the seedling, they grew it, we harvested it, made the sauce, bottled it, brought it back and ate it," Phojanakong said.
Now Small Axe Peppers is looking to expand into a second borough, hoping the concept can help to fund gardens and bring the community together. They're also working on their first real capital raise.
"When I go to the community gardens to collect the peppers and I see the incredible amount of pride the gardeners themselves have taken on from the product — it's a source of something really positive coming from the borough," Daniel Fitzgerald, senior vice president of operations, said. "Our guiding philosophy is, if you have a bunch of community partners coming together and working together to make something great, hopefully we tackle some of society's problems, small and large."