Doolie’s Hot Hot Sauce
We had dinner downtown at ART Restaurant two nights ago. (More on that in a forthcoming post.) Along with our entrees, we selected three side dishes, one of which was called “Doolies Hot Sauce Broccolini.” We had no idea who Doolie was.
The server warned us that the broccolini would be hot, which seemed clear enough. I replied that that was good. By the time the broccolini was served, I had completely forgotten that it was going to be hot. Really hot, we discovered. And indeed good.
Yesterday I explored further and discovered that Doolie’s Hot Hot Sauce is a local product. That shouldn’t have been surprising, given the emphasis ART places on its relationships with local purveyors. Still, I had imagined a sauce from Texas. Not at all. The company is in South Seattle, the founder a resident of West Seattle. From the website:
What started as something founder Abdul Mohamud made as a treat for friends and family for game days, parties or just to have with snacks eventually turned into something so good, they HAD to have with every meal! Overtime, the sauce had adopted a new name and became known as Doolie’s Hot Hot Sauce. Eventually, more and more of his friends, his family, even his friends’ families began to ask him for some of this amazingly delicious sauce, using it as a marinade, on pizza, in sandwiches and on burritos, or even just as a dip with chips! With such a high demand for the sauce, Abdul decided to make Doolie’s Hot Hot Sauce available for sale to local businesses, vendors, and plain individuals. Years of practice and perfection, as well as the highest quality of ingredients go into each batch of sauce produced. All of the produce is hand-selected with the highest standards of excellence. All ingredients are fresh and local, supporting the Pacific Northwest community and local farmers. All of this is done ensure that YOU receive the best hot sauce available!
My search also led me to a great piece half a year ago in the West Seattle Herald, where I learned that Mohamud is just a 24-year-old, born in Somalia.
Last year he started a Somali restaurant with his brother, but after six months they were only able to break even and decided to call it quits. There was, however, a silver lining.
Grandma’s hot sauce was served with every meal during their restaurant run, and Mohamud said people started to take note. Customers were stealing bottles from the tables, friends were stealing mom’s homemade batches from his fridge, people were calling in to-go orders for the sauce instead of food … it was clear people really liked the stuff.
At the turn of 2012, Mohamud decided to run with the lustful following Grandma’s sauce had created, applied for the necessary permits to start making it for commercial resale, and started renting time at a commercial kitchen in SoDo. After much trial and error, he was able to recreate Grandma’s flavors in large scale batches and found a way to tone down the heat “for the masses” (he said the original is extremely hot).
Reorder requests are going from a case a week to a case a day, a modest profit is starting to turn, and Mohamud is already scheming future products, including a “GuacaDoolie,” a red sauce, and, eventually, an original version of Grandma’s Recipe with a heat level for adventurous palates.
The Doolie’s website has a recipe for a spicy tuna sandwich that I’m eager to try. We’ll buy a jar and experiment.