An upcoming Army-Navy football game will be hosted by a brand that aims to help military and veteran families and sports an explosive hot sauce in grenade-shaped bottles.
Naval Academy graduate Dan Ballister, the CEO and co-founder of The General’s Hot Sauce says it’s “hard work” creating the flavor-packed products that use peppers grown in the U.S., but it’s “worth it.”
“The General’s Hot Sauce, a veteran-owned business based in Columbia, South Carolina, packs a fusillade of flavor in eye-catching grenade-shaped bottles,” Fox Business reported. “It sources hot peppers from nearby farmers while donating a portion of profits each year to other veteran-owned organizations.”
Ballister along with co-founders and fellow vets Mike Altobello, Drew Tanner, and Mikey Taylor reunited every year to tailgate before the Army-Navy game. A compliment on the food being served up inspired the business which was started in 2016 with a focus on veterans’ causes.
A company executive and Marine Corps reservist Dillon Cox told Fox Business that the identity of the Marine Corps general behind the business name is “top secret.”
“The namesake mystery general commanded the kitchen at the pre-game parking-lot party, splashing his wings, according to an oft-old version of company lore, with amazing homemade hot sauce,” Fox Business noted.
The flavor bomb was a hit and inspired the business concept to “Combine their passion for spicy food with the dedication to service they displayed in the military themselves, by using the success of the business to support American veterans and their families.”
The Columbia, South Carolina-based company will be hosting this year’s Army-Navy game on December 9 with the proceeds raised going to The Big Red Barn Retreat in South Carolina. Since its start, it has been able to donate more than $750,000 to organizations that focus on helping veterans and their families.
“We use a decidedly ineffective process to make our sauce,” Ballister told Fox Business.”It’s manual. It’s hard work. But it’s worth it.”
“If you’re looking for cheaply made, cheaply priced products that are loaded with chemicals or cheap filler ingredients (like extracts, xanthan gum, or even water), we are definitely the wrong company for you,” a message to customers on the website states. “But if you care about authentic, all-natural products made by an organization that is committed to goals that extend far beyond just maximizing profits, then check out our flavors.”
Those flavors, in hot sauces that purportedly contain 86% actual peppers, are packed in colorful grenade-shaped bottles.
Hey, guys look what I found at the store. The Generals Hot Sauce, I already tried it on a few things and as soon as I am able DAMN RIGHT Im getting more!☢️ pic.twitter.com/TilltHx9Id
— STARWRAITH SPACEMARINE (@StarwraithS) June 16, 2023
The signature “Dead Red” sauce is an “all-natural product that is almost 90% cayenne peppers,” while “Danger Close,” is described as “a magical blend of red cayenne and orange habanera peppers … the PERFECT sauce for making Buffalo wings.”
One sauce named “Shock and Awe” is “a special request from our beloved heat freak fans” and is made with orange habaneros, giving it “a unique punch of deep, powerful, sustained heat.”
The company also offers seasoned salts, with one named “A Salt Weapon” which boasts “No fillers or additives. The Atlantic provides the salt, our American-grown habanero peppers provide the heat, and together they make one powerful duo. ”
Using only peppers grown in the area, the business lists as part of its mission the effort to support local farmers. “We think you should be able to trace every pepper back to the acre of land where it was grown.”
Organizations like the Boulder Crest Foundation in Virginia, the Warrior Alliance in Atlanta and the Warrior Canine Connection in Maryland have all been recipients of help from the veteran-owned business that sports the motto: “Great sauce for the greater good.”
“Service isn’t something you did,” Ballister expressed. “It’s who you are.”
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