I had some exciting conversations this past week. I got to meet a lot of new people while vending and they all had great questions for me. Some that I’ll truly have to think about and others that I felt prepared for and was able to answer. The repeater was about the name.

The Name

From the beginning I was adding fruit to my hot sauces because I loved the acidity that came with it – not the sweetness. Now is the time to tell you that technically chili peppers are fruits also, but when I say fruit, I’m generally referencing things like grapefruits, lemons and oranges. So, I always want the sauce to be bright and to really pop against the heat. I was really inspired by some of the sour and saison style beers I have drank and brewed previously. I knew grapefruit worked well with black pepper in a saison and that occasionally you’ll find an herbal or even a peppery twang in the finish of sour beer. I liked that and immediately (yeah, like almost a year) ironed out a few recipes for hot sauce that captured those characteristics.

These newer hot sauces of mine got me researching fruit based hot sauces and I found quite a few being made. In fact, a good amount of hot sauces include fruits and juices but don’t necessarily promote it. There are still a lot of “chiliheads” that want that focus to fall between the heat, vinegar and salt mix. That’s cool, and we will make sauces like that, traditional, if you will. But out the gate – I wanted to follow my passion.

I did a lot of synonym searches for fruit descriptors. A lot. I kept coming back to juicy because it said exactly how I wanted the flavors to come across in the hot sauces. Juicy is also an older term that you don’t see too much in the adult world. Well, I was going to bring juicy back! Next I needed to pair it with the other half of my product and that meant HOT.

Again I went after the synonyms and when I finally found melt it rang true. I thought, juicy makes your mouth watery like its melting and so putting those two together seems legit. Not much later I was getting seriously puzzled looks from friends and family and I knew I had the name. JuicyMelt. It also reminded me of a cool character from one of my favorite films as a youth, Nowhere, written and directed by Gregg Araki. Gibby Haynes plays Jujyfruit, a popular guy that throws the best parties in the Hollywood hills. You wouldn’t believe the people in this film from 1997. Check it out.

Anyways, I went to see my small business mentor about my business plan and told him the name. I knew he got the gist of it but he helped me understand it had to be more than just something people could puzzle out. The name had to be something more than what the ingredients could tell you. It had to have a sense of braggadocios, something that told my future customers I was working towards giving them the best hot sauce I could. Something that wouldn’t accept the status quo and demanded their attention. I looked up at him and said, “JuicyMelt Supreme.” He smiled and said “there you go.”  And there I went. JuicyMelt Supreme says a lot about my past but it also holds a lot more about my future. We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries on flavor and striving for the best, always. I tell you what.

Thanks for reading,

J

Jeffrey McElfresh

Jeffrey McElfresh is a co-owner and founder of JuicyMelt Supreme Hot Sauce.
Jeffrey McElfresh

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