Tell us a bit about your business?
I am an artisan food producer specialising in unique cross-cultural sauces. My sauces are multidimensional as they can be used for cooking, dipping, salad dressing and marinades. A new hot sauce launched this month to join the range. Through social media channels, I regularly blog about healthy, family-oriented recipes to inspire my customers and target audiences.
What do you love most about Hampstead?
I love the people of Hampstead. There is a genuine friendliness and homeliness all around that makes you feel right at home even when you are just visiting.
What makes it different to other areas of London?
Hampstead is a place where people live, work and play all at the same time surrounded by a great mix of people from different cultural as well as socio-economic backgrounds that exist on top of a majestic hill enveloped by the wonderful greenery of Hampstead Heath and it’s environs.
What were your motivations for starting the business?
I love food. I love to cook, feed friends, family & sometimes, even strangers! The story of Hot Chiu started from when I was a child in Manila, Philippines & was always surrounded by my huge Chinese family. We were ALWAYS eating. Then, a desire to replicate a salad dressing that my husband, Dan loved from a tiny Chinese restaurant in NYC’s Chinatown prompted me to make what is to be known as Sizzling Soy. I made it & it was better. It became a staple in our home & we always had it in the fridge. We moved back to the UK in 2013 & one day an old friend staying with us discovered a jar of this sauce in the fridge & was instantly addicted to it. She said “Sheryl you should sell this, it goes great on everything!” That did it. I worked on a recipe that I can upscale, then asked a few close friends to try many versions of it until finally, I had it. My love for food & the desire to spread happiness through it is my BIGGEST inspiration.
What are your biggest challenges as an independent?
The biggest challenge is TIME as there is never enough of it. It’s being able to manage to do ALL aspects of the business, right now, all by myself – accounting, production, sales, marketing, advertising & design, logistics, client relations.
Besides yourselves, what’s your favourite independent Hampstead business?
I love Hampstead Butchers as they always have an eclectic mix of everything my stomach desires. The people who work there are very friendly and helpful, too!
What could local people be doing more of to help Hampstead traders?
By simply shopping local, spreading the word to all of London that Hampstead has a dynamic local community and encourage other Londoners to come visit our little village, it could be one little step for Hampsteadites but one big step for…
Get your’s today.. www.hotchiu.com