The Namib Chilli story

The Namib Chilli story

My love for chillies started in 1994 while travelling. I tried a green jalapeño during dinner in a hotel and felt like my tongue had been set on fire. However, afterwards I realized that I like the experience and slowly started to add fresh chillies to my food and also making my own chilli braai sauces.

From 2002 I spent 3 years working contracts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and chillies were used in abundance in their food. I started planting my own to make sauces. 

In 2010 I found myself outside the little village of Rawnsonville in the Cape Region of South Africa. We lived in a small cottage but had free reign with water and healthy soil, so I started planting more varieties and also experimented with more sauces. Ever since then I always had a few bottles of my own sauces in the cupboards or fridge, and even sometimes a flask or 2 fermenting in the pantry or garage.

During the lockdowns of 2020 my wife and I were caught between jobs in the beautiful desert seaside town of Swakopmund. I was bored and started making more sauces, giving to neighbours and family to taste. They all wanted more and my wife told me to stop giving them away as money was scarce. An old school friend with a coffee shop and deli phoned me and asked me for a product list. Another friend managing a country grocer saw my sauces on social media and ordered.

I started driving around, attending markets and events. During this time my faith never faltered and I firmly believe God sent 2 people across my path. 
The first time I was doing a tasting 150km from home and the MD of a wholesaler just happened to walk in, tasted my sauces and told me to come see him.
The second time we were attending the Swakopmund Christmas Fair and the MD of another retail chain saw our sauces and told me to contact their buying department. 

I asked God for guidance, took a leap of faith, registered a business and started making hot sauce. Even when the lockdowns were lifted and job offers came in, I declined as I firmly believed this was our future. The rest is history.

The Namibian consumer market is very small, people are poor and hot sauce isn't everybody's priority, although there is a worldwide move towards more hot sauce consumption. We are slowly getting noticed by overseas parties and already sent one bulk order of 1872 bottles to a German distributor. We are at the right place at the right time and believe we will become a success story.

At the time of writing this (13 February 2024) we are moving inland at the end of the month, as the coastal weather is too cold for chillies and most of our business is in the central region. We will save a lot on transport to customers and from our farmers, and will be able to grow more of our own chillies. We also started making spices, and the drier inland will be more suitable for the drying process.

We are very excited about our future. If you're reading this, it means you have noticed us and may be interested in supporting us. If you are already a supporter, thank you! If you are considering becoming one, just know that our sauces are of the highest quality, best ingredients and made with love and passion right here in Namibia!

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