Hot in Queens visions has received accolades across
Entrepreneur blends spice
and flavor to perfect variety of hot sauces
BY JOSE CARDOSO
The love Timothy Fraczak has
for spicy foods takes him back
to his childhood, but he never
expected to start a business
“I’ve liked spicy foods ever
since I was a kid,” said Fraczak.
Fraczak is an entrepreneur and independent
producer of a variety of
hot sauces with locally sourced ingredients.
He arrived in New York City
in 2008. By 2015, he established his
company Pepplish Provisions, a small
business based in Queens, and he
started production in 2016.
Fraczak experimented with hot sauces
that are not only spicy but packed
with flavor. He grew his ingredients at
the beginning and now he produces
the sauces in a kitchen inside The Entrepreneur
Space in Long Island City.
Before offering his product to the
public, he made batches for he and his
friends. His wife suggested selling the
sauces and before long, the business
was born. However, he didn’t know
where to begin.
“I didn’t really know what to do
with the company at first,” he said.
“I knew I just wanted to make hot
sauces. That was something I was
Fraczak said that there was no
motivation at the beginning, but after
several discussions with friends
and people from the community, he
found his purpose. He wanted to create
a social and environmental impact
with his company to better the
community. For example, his bottles
are eco-friendly to minimize the use
of plastic. Additionally, he uses paper
24 JULY 2 0 2 0
The company embodies the sentiment
of enjoying food and being able
to support the community. An instructor
at John Bowne High School told
him about an agriculture program at
the school where he was able to buy
“I went there expecting no more than
15 or 20 pounds of peppers,” he said.
Fraczak was blown away when he
saw 120 pounds of green habaneros
ready for him, peppers he previously
had problems obtaining.
“How big of a garden do they have,”
But things weren’t easy, as Fraczak
experienced struggles when making
“Creating something in a small batch
at home is very different from creating
something in a 50-gallon pot,” he said.
“It takes a lot longer to heat up.”
The ingredients also play a role, Fraczak
noted. There have been instances
when he was forced to start over from
scratch because of one ingredient.
But he persevered and has seen
quite a bit of success, as Pepplish Pro-
when a Parisian
the county. Last year, his pineapplelemongrass
ginger and blueberrybasil
shallot sauces won the International
Flavor Awards held in Madison,
Wisconsin. But he’s not letting that get
to his head.
“The success of my business is not a
reflection of who I am as an individual,”
he said. “Jobs and businesses come
and go and that’s the nature of those
things. I am not my business and my
business is not me.
Fraczak isn’t afraid of failing. He said
that it’s OK if his business doesn’t go as
expected or someone doesn’t like his
products. He knows that criticism will
come and it’s better to accept it.
Still, he acknowledged that being a
business owner brings an emotional
toll. When things are going great it’s
a good feeling, he said, but when the
business takes a hit, it can be difficult
to share with people. Fraczak said he’ll
sometimes begin to question himself.
“Do I need to end this business? Do I
need to shut it down?” he said. “A lot of
anxiety sets in.”
Fraczak has been feeling plenty
of anxiety during the COVID-19
pandemic, but said business has
been “pretty good.”
“Because of the pandemic, a lot more
people are buying online” as an alternative
to going out in person.
Those interested can purchase
Fraczak’s hot sauces on his website,
pepplish.com, and Amazon.
Photos courtesy of Pepplish Provisions
FOOD + DRINKS