Meet the Maker: Handsome Devils Co

by Joni Marcelis 23 January 2017

Meet the Maker: Handsome Devils Co

 

I remember our excitement when Bovine and Swine Barbecue opened in Enmore, Sydney late 2015. We had just returned from road-tripping the States and our mouths were still watering at the thought of the great Texas BBQ joints we encountered on our journey. 

I couldn't wait to dig into the wood-smoked brisket and pork ribs. Next to us, a few blokes were passing this hipster-looking hot sauce around the table. Rather than BYO booze, they'd brought along their own hot sauce (clever dudes) which they were all too happy to share. It was hot sauce revolution, unlike any hot sauce I'd ever tried before. And no wonder, when the back of the label lists out only the finest natural ingredients, without preservatives or other junk. 

Today, the Handsome Devils quartet doesn't even go back into the pantry after each meal. The four different flavour profiles and heat levels mean we pretty much have them with everything. Let's hear more from Sauce Master Ryan Brown about where he found the inspiration to throw together these delicious concoctions. 

 


 

Let’s start at the beginning - where did the idea to create Handsome Devils Co come from?

HDC came from a fairly organic place, after visiting the USA and finding a love for hot sauces that continued years on. I finally looked at the ingredients of the products we were eating and decided to make my own products without the junk.

While there is a large and growing market of hot sauces and condiments, the problem for myself was that most of these products are full of added colours , flavours, preservatives and sugar. HDC products are based on the premise that we can do it better, we can make it better, cleaner and more delicious.

The sauces turned out to be great and after a few friends told me I should sell the sauces, I decided to make it happen. The branding took inspiration from a few of my tattoos and a love of stories of the dirty south.

 

You’ve got a few different hot sauces in your range, and have just launched a Tomato and BBQ sauce as well. They’re all exceptional and I’m not sure we can pick a favourite - for you, it’s gotta feel like picking a favourite child. Which one is it?

HA ! That is a tricky one to decide, I made the sauces to please myself. My favourites change from week to week and month to month. Right now, if I had to choose, it would be the Chipotle and the Tomato Sauce.

 

Handsome Devils Co | Chipotle Hot Sauce

 

Running a small business is no joke and there are many hard days. Do you have a favourite customer ‘moment’ that reminds you why you’re doing what you’re doing?

Most of these moments come from farmers markets. Seeing the look on people faces when they try a sauce for the first time. Every reaction is priceless.

 

What’s your favourite farmers’ market around Sydney?

That would have to be Bondi Farmers Market. There is always a happy friendly vibe and it’s all about food! And we love food.

 

Handsome Devils Ryan and Ian at the Farmers Market

Handsome Devils Ryan and Ian

 

As we’re in the small batch business, who is your favourite small batch producer?

After 3 years of farmers' markets we have come across so many, it’s hard to say but one of the standouts would be Miss Lillies Kitchen. Also Stuart Masters is the producer of all things pastry and never fails to please.

 

Which food are you currently obsessed with?

To pick one food is a little ridiculous. It just can’t be done as I am always experimenting with food. I love food. All food. But here is one of my favourite recipes. 

 

What’s next for HDC? Any other products or projects in the pipeline?

There is always something on the backburner. I have a little black book full of products that would be amazing if any of them hit the market. I won't tell you just yet what they are as I love a good surprise. 

 


 

We can't wait to see what else Ryan and Ian have up their sleeves. Check out the full HDC range and story here.

 

Handsome Devils Co | Savina Hot Sauce

 

Joni Marcelis
Joni Marcelis

Joni Marcelis is the founder and chief tasting officer at The Food Repository


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