“The Spice of Life”
- Editor’s note: Yelm Blog readers know Hotbabe-Hotsauce from coverage posted here in 2017. The first HotBabe-HotSauce was made in Yelm in 2013.
From South Sound Business:
With a name like Hotbabe-Hotsauce, owners Sandra Bocas and Fiona Douglas-Hamilton get countless queries on the name of their company.
The idea popped up while Bocas and Douglas-Hamilton were enjoying wine with friends. The group was dissecting one of Bocas’ recent paintings, which eventually would become part of the product’s logos. One of the women looking at the painting perked up and exclaimed, “I know what she is — she’s a hot babe!”
And thus, Hotbabe-Hotsauce was born. In the time since, Hotbabe has made Caribbeanstyle hot sauce out of its Tumwater kitchen using some of the most fresh and clean ingredients locally available.
Bocas made 10 jars of her grandmother’s hot sauce and started down the main thoroughfare in Yelm. By the time she returned home, she didn’t have any jars left and said she knew that she was in business.
“In 2012, there was a lot of hot sauces on the market,” Bocas said. “There were even people doing clean ingredients, sure. But there was virtually nobody doing completely fresh hot sauce. It kind of set us apart.”
Bocas spotted a small commercial kitchen space and began making her hot sauces there. She had only a small 3-foot section of refrigeration space that her business was quickly outgrowing.
Eventually, Douglas-Hamilton and Bocas found the kitchen where they’re now making their sauces. Since that day on the street in Yelm, Hotbabe has grown from one recipe to nine and employs local farmer Judy Schelble to supply their beloved scotch bonnets and other peppers.
Recently, Bocas and Douglas-Hamilton decided to enter the 2022 Scovie Awards, a competition that recognizes the very best fiery food and barbecue in the world. They walked away with a first-place award for meat-grilling sauces.