This all started with a phone call on Thursday 01 April 2021. Then Reapers & Mangoes ended up in the number 10 position on an episode of Hot Ones.
Let's skip back to April fools day at 11:01 when the phone started ringing. Answering the phone, I ended up chatting with Jen Ferguson, the boss at Hop Burns & Black in London. We're not strangers. HB&B were our first stockists outside of Aberdeenshire. Anyone who knows anything about beer, wine and hot sauce knows that Hop Burns & Black are the real deal. The OG's of the scene. Jen is also incredibly nice and massively supportive of the UK hot sauce scene.
I've been pranked to death over the years before mid day on April fools day. This was different though, there was something in Jen's voice which told me she was being straight up. And that's when things got weird.
We've had a bunch of unexpected things happen to us since we turned Singularity Sauce Co into a real business. This phone call was fast taking the title of "best ever". The next episode of Hot Ones, which was to be part filmed in the UK had a problem. Customs had held the official hot ones sauce lineup from coming in from the US. That's when the organisers got in touch with Jen to organise a replacement lineup. They're not strangers either, HB&B have a direct link to Hot Ones. Like I said earlier, they're the real deal. When Jen put the replacement lineup together, there was a question mark around what should replace "The Last Dab" in position 10. And that's when the phone rang. "What's the hotter of your Reapers & Blackberries and Reapers & Mangoes" Jen asked. "Reapers & Mangoes drops people all day long" my response. And with that, Reapers & Mangoes was lined up to go on Hot Ones.
I had to keep this quiet until there was an official announcement and man, that killed me. Hot Ones is the main event for sauce makers and I wanted to tell everyone. But I'd promised Jen I wouldn't and so I kept my mouth shut outside my immediate family and closest friends. It was a torturous time between then and Wednesday 07 April when Jen let me know the word was out. Russell Brand was to be the guest and the sauce lineup was confirmed. There were only 24 hours to wait until the show went live. I was so excited and I immediately became a pest on social media.
Sitting down as a family to watch it on YouTube was awesome. I say "sitting" but I stood the whole way through. I couldn't believe Reapers & Mangoes was there. This tiny little company from a tiny village in Aberdeenshire had made it on to the biggest hot sauce show on the planet. That's almost 10M subscribers if you like the numbers. Russell's commentary around the label had me in stitches. As I write this post, thoughts of renaming the sauce "Teletubbies day spa" are spinning in my head. What a story to tell.
An evening of website traffic spikes, social media action and sales happened. The staff in the Tarves post office are going to hate me even more when I take this lot down there.
You can view the episode below. If you're new to Hot Ones, go and have a look back through the previous shows and seasons to see the celebrities who take part.
Hugest thanks ever to Jen at Hop Burns & Black for the hookup. Check them out and marvel at the variety of hot sauces they have in stock at any one time, then buy them all.