By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune
---- — Most of K.C. Richey’s time is spent preaching. When he isn’t preaching, he’s making hot sauce.
Richey has three hot sauces and one mild sauce, completing his current collection, OMG Hot Sauce.
His mild sauce, made from his mother’s recipe, is named Marcella’s Mild Sauce after his mother. The mild sauce is now sold at D&R Fruit Market, 931 W. Market St.
Richey fondly recalls times spent cooking with his mother. She used to make a sauce, which she called ketchup, when tomatoes and bell peppers were in abundance, Richey said.
After he started making hot sauce, he decided he wanted to add his mother’s recipe to his collection.
Unable to find a recipe or ask his mother, who suffers from advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, what the ingredients were, he was determined to duplicate the recipe even if it took him a year — which it did.
“On a visit I asked her, ‘mom you know that ketchup we used to make?’ She stopped, tilted her head and didn’t say anything, as if she remembered,” Richey said. “Did you put this ingredient in it, I asked, even though she hasn’t known anything for five years. She said yes. I asked about another ingredient and she said yes. In a span of sixty seconds she continued and got it right.”
Richey, who is originally from Logansport, is now living in Detroit. It was about 14 years ago that he started making his own hot sauce and placing it in mason jars and giving it to friends and family as gifts.
It took Richey three times to get it right, making small adjustments to each batch.
“Our goal all along has been flavor,” Richey said. “Carrots were key. They reduce the heat without altering the flavor.”
The project was just something fun, Richey said.
“I am a pastor full-time, so it wasn’t like I was looking to do more than that,” Richey said. “We thought it might be possible because over the past decade, craft producers from granola to beer exploded. We went from not caring to having a product in a bottle.”
The product started being sold commercially two years ago.
There are three hot sauce flavors, OMG Hantu Honey, Island Style Pineapple and OMG Original Recipe. The Hantu Honey features a Ghost Chile, Richey said. He describes the sauce as an edible ghost flavor. He even said he likes to drizzle it on vanilla ice cream and asks others to try it.
The mild sauce is what people will recognize as a chili sauce. He describes it as all sweet and no heat. The pineapple sauce is fruity, sweet and the least hot of all of the hot sauces. The original sauce is full-flavored and savory, Richey said.
The prices of the sauces on the website range from $5.45 to $8.95. The mild sauce can be found at D&R Fruit Market in Logansport for $3.99, Richey said. Ten percent of profits from sales of OMG’s Marcella’s Mild Sauce go toward Alzheimer’s research.
In addition to D&R Fruit Market, It is sold in stores in Michigan and has been shipped coast to coast to places like California, New York, Florida and Texas. One of the company’s biggest customers is the owner of a food truck named Burrito Bus located in Lafayette. Staff there love the pineapple hot sauce, Richey said.
“It’s pretty emotional for me to have product in the town I grew up,” Richey said. “There was a moment when I found out where I was misty eyed because of my mom. It was special and I know how much it would mean to my mom to know her recipe is in a community she loved.”
The mild sauce, introduced in July, has larger sales than any of the hot sauces, Richey said.
Richey, who lived in Logansport for 20 years, graduated from Logansport High School in 1974. He and his wife were high school sweethearts. Richey and Joni left Logansport in 1987 to begin pastoring full-time. They are now at Calvary Assembly of God which also has a Christian school, Calvary Christian Academy. Joni and Richey have two daughters and four grandchildren.
During the past two years, Richey has learned plenty about business.
“I’ve learned it takes a lot of legwork,” Richey said. “It involves more than store-to-store contact. There has to be a call, a follow-up and then demos and various other steps.”
Richey advises that the craft market is exploding and ready for products. People in the market want unique, exciting items, he said.
“There really is a viable market,” Richey said. “Start-up takes a significant amount of money and time and if you can’t have fun or survive on fun, then stay out. It really can be done. Don’t be afraid to try.”
Information on Richey and the OMG Hot Sauce collection can be found on the product website, omg-hotsauce.com, or Facebook page at facebook.com/omghotsauce.
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her: @PharosAES.
Learn more about OMG Hot Sauce WEBSITE: omg-hotsauce.com FACEBOOK: facebook.com/omghotsauce