Usually when you hear people these days use that old Shakespeare line “what’s in a name?” from Romeo and Juliet they’re referring to the fact that brand names don’t really matter in an ever-evolving consumer culture like ours. The store brand is always cheaper and the difference in quality negligible, right? We probably all have a friend who prefers no name cola with their Captain Morgan – no ice. But in a market where your goal is to establish yourself as a viable third option on the grocery store shelf and heat things up literally, a name says a lot. Drew Stevens, the co-owner of Pepper North Artisan Foods, handcrafts delicious gourmet hot pepper products and for him the goal is to completely set his super-hot sauces apart from “your traditional one-name brands like Tabasco and Frank’s.” Pepper North’s five hot sauces – Stargazer, Momento de Muerte, No Joke, Solar Flare, and Blueberry Plague – fall in the “medium to pretty extreme range; really a higher caliber than the big brands,” Drew said. These award winning hot sauces and three condiments – Heart of Aztlan BBQ Sauce, Hive Mind Hot Money Mustard, and Afterglow Hot Pepper Jelly – are all natural, free from added preservatives, gluten free, have won 22 industry awards and can be found in over 250 stores across Ontario and beyond.



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