Based out of Hope & Main in Warren, Orisirisi Spice of Life is adding zest to the hot sauce industry in Rhode Island and beyond. Ramon Hinds, the chef and co-owner of the brand, grew up in Trinidad and Tobago. He spent his summers making delicious quick pickles, known regionally as chows. Mangos, pineapples, and guavas were plentiful, so he tried incorporating them in recipes with local herbs and spices, lime juice, and, of course, peppers.
Many years later, after settling down in Rhode Island with his wife Frances, Ramon took to experimenting in the kitchen cooking meals for his family. While grocery shopping for quality ingredients, he noticed a lack of options for hot sauces that met his standards and found himself driving over an hour to purchase them in Boston.
Inspiration struck when Ramon realized he could take a page from his old chow recipe to create a sauce with a better combination of heat and flavor. Rediscovering his love for pickling and with encouragement from his wife, Ramon devised the first Orisirisi sauce.
The Hinds refer to their creations as “pepper sauces” rather than hot sauces because of the quality, freshness, and process that goes into each product. They’ve developed four sauces under the Orisirisi brand, which contain a range of ingredients pumping up the flavor, including habanero peppers, pineapple, mango, and lime for acidity. Unlike thinner varieties, the Hinds’ products have a richer texture and more flavor. “Hot sauce is made by boiling all of the ingredients together and straining out the pulp,” says Ramon. “We don’t do that. We keep every little piece of the ingredients in our pepper sauce.”
The couple’s entrepreneurial journey began by visiting a farmers’ market, where they met Julius Kolawole, founder of Bami Farms in Johnston, who introduced them to Ron Crosson of Urban Ventures. Their networking eventually brought them to Hope & Main’s food incubator program, connecting them with the funding, distribution resources, and entrepreneur courses to get their brand off the ground and growing exponentially. “Hope & Main accepted us with open arms,” says Ramon. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without their support.”
Orisirisi pepper sauces can now be found in Rhode Island stores like Ink Fish Books in Warren. Last year they bottled 6,000 pepper sauces, and they’re hoping to triple production this year. They’ve concocted four varieties – pineapple, mango, rainbow blend, and Dominican habanero – that range from medium to hot. Frances recommends trying the pineapple flavor on pizza or adding any of the sauces to sour cream to create a homemade dip. “The sour cream really mellows the heat,” she shares. “Everybody loves it.”
For those intimidated by spice, Ramon recommends building up a tolerance. When his daughter was young, she avoided eating pepper sauces, but he eventually found her eating it by the spoonful. “It’s like swimming in the ocean,” he says. “You have to test the waters before you go into the deep end.”
As their sauces continue to land on more shelves, the Hinds find themselves growing a loyal fan base. “We’ve conducted blind taste tests against nationally recognized hot sauce brands. Our products smoke them every time,” says Ramon. “Our pepper sauce will speak for itself.”
Shop Orisirisi Spice of Life online at OrisirisiSpiceOfLife.com
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