I am Keith Jenkins with Frog Bone Cajun Sauces, straight out of the bayous of south Louisiana from a town called Madisonville. I have been in the sauce business for 3 full years and am learning from my mentors, John “CaJohn” Hard of CaJohn’s Fiery Foods and Ed Currie from Puckerbutt Pepper Company. My company originally had 3 products when it first started, but now we have expanded to 14. We travel around the United States to visit great hot sauce festivals and expos to get our brand known.
This past weekend, we were at the Louisiana Hot Sauce Expo in Lafayette. This is the closest show to home we do all year. It was held at the Blackham Coliseum with air conditioning, which helped out compared to last year when the event was held outside in the rain. There were over 60 vendors that were in attendance at this years expo. Top of the top vendors were there, such as CaJohn, Puckerbutt and Tricky Dix Seasonings. Even companies from Hawaii were attending the expo. Although the crowd attendance was not like an average crowd attendance for the Fiery Food Show in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is the biggest show we at Frog Bone attend, it was a nice steady flow of attendees that drew more attention to the expo. We in Louisiana are not used to the extreme hot sauces that some of the vendors make. We are more about flavor than extreme spice. Although, I must say, Dana Romero did a great job at promoting and getting top name vendors to attend the expo that was held in Louisiana. I can really see this hot sauce expo taking off in the next couple of years and becoming a nice event for everyone to attend. There are a few minor things that can be worked on, but with everyone’s opinion, we could make this expo work out. This is a “must do” show for all the vendors that I travel with.
The World Hot Sauce Award banquet was held approximately 45 miles from the expo at Bayou Cypress Casino. It was a great venue where it was held at. Anyone who entered the award categories had a chance to watch the event worldwide via online streaming, which was nice. The only downfall of having it there so far away from the expo at Blackham Coliseum was the 45 minute drive to and from each event. It was a great turnout and the hospitality from the Bayou Cypress Casino was great. Dana Romero and Johnny McLaughlin did a great job at hosting the World Hot Sauce Awards, which they exceeded expectations at. We at Frog Bone Cajun Sauces were grateful for winning one 3rd place, one 2nd place, two 1st place, and one world champion award at the event. I know Dana Romero will go back and look at the pros and cons of this event and adjust where necessary to make this event better each year. This was a breakthrough in showing the Louisiana public the hottest brands that are not offered in the state. Even we at Frog Bone are a brand for Louisiana that is new to the market, and a show like this helps all companies get their name out, so we need this to happen every year.
I am really looking forward to this event in 2016. It would be nice to see upwards of 100 vendors in attendance at this event next year.
Frog-Bone Cajun Sauces
13406 Seymour Meyers Blvd., Suite 13
Covington, LA 70433