Well actually the year was 2008 and the place was my home in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Being an avid gardener with a green thumb, I had a bumper crop of Jalapenos and needed to do something with them. I found a recipe for pepper jelly on the side of a pectin box and figured I would give it a go. I gave what I made away as Christmas gifts that year and everyone loved it! The next year I made more to sell along with my photography at the local Farmers Market. Mixing in fruit and other ingredients for unique flavor packed pepper jelly. Once again it was a hit!
In 2010 I decided to get licensed……and the Sweet Heat Company was born. I began processing in the commercial kitchen at the Bonner Business Center, selling my product at events, Farmers Markets, and some retail locations. In 2013 I added my Gelee line of non spicy unique jams, including Bananas Foster Jam & Monkey Butter.
Then comes 2014 and the closure of the Bonner Business Center. Just as I was getting going I had lost my ability to produce large batches of product in a facility available whenever I needed it. To keep my product going I started using the Bonners Ferry Senior Center to make my product. While not as efficient and restricted to the days I could use it I was still able to make 300-400 Jars a couple times a year.
I am happy to say as of January 2019 the Kitchen is back OPEN! The equipment from the Bonner Business Center had been in storage just waiting for a new home. With the help of grants, local organizations, and www.CommercialKitchens.site Kitchen Ponderay was opened in the Bonner Mall in Ponderay, ID. Available for rent by the hour it has everything I need to get back into production. Using the 40 gallon kettle and commercial filler I can produce 200 jars of sweet spicy (and non-spicy) goodness at a time.
With the help of my mom, other family, friends, and a few wonderful employees the venture I started can continue to grow! I look forward to continuing to provide product full of flavor and produced with top quality ingredients in beautiful North Idaho, A place I am proud to call HOME!
Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated. I look forward to input from my customers and fellow entrepreneurs.
Derek Blumenschein Owner / Culinary Creator
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