Do you like your food with a flavourful kick, or know someone who always orders Vindaloo at the local curry house? If so, you need to get acquainted with The Chilli Mash Company!
This family-run Portsmouth business was founded in 2016. One of the co-founders Stephanie had been making her own chilli sauce at home after becoming dissatisfied with what she found in the shops. This proved such a hit with friends that it eventually became a full-time job.
Today, Chilli Mash is one of the UK’s largest chilli growers and importers – and a leader in the chilli sauce market. In the run up to Small Business Saturday on 2 December, it’s been named one of Britain’s 100 most impressive small businesses.
Huge Product Range
Chilli Mash now sells more than 250 products including hot sauces, ketchups and jams. Its sauces include Piri Piri and Mexican flavours, while the jams range from jalapeno to tropical fruit.
The company says it’s seen a trend among consumers towards hotter and hotter products. So it recently launched a new range based on the world’s hottest chilli – the Carolina Reaper. The reaper hot sauce, along with strawberry chilli jam and ‘hot honey’, are currently among its most popular products according to the team member I spoke to.
I’ve tried several items recently. I found the hot sauces add a great kick to chips, chicken and meat. The jalapeno jam is juicy with a pleasant warmth that seems to go with anything – I love it on burgers and sandwiches. Or if you fancy something milder, the banana jam is perfect on toast for breakfast!
How to Buy Your Sauce
Anyone can buy directly from Chilli Mash online. But the good news for locals is that we can visit their base and pick something up in a matter of minutes. Their small, low-key shopfront is located in Hilsea and stocks a selection of the most popular products.
If you love a bargain, you can also find their surprise bags on the Too Good To Go app and help reduce food waste. These contain a selection of items which may be past their best before date but are still good to eat.
Most of Chilli Mash’s business actually comes from helping other small companies – such as sauce producers and restaurants – to make their own products. My local foodie friend The Drunken Chef makes a lot of sauce at home and regularly uses their chillies. She says she likes the variety they stock, and feels they are competitively priced for bulk buying.
What is Chilli Mash?
The company takes its name from the puree that’s used as a base to make sauces.
“When we started out, the only chilli purees available in the UK were mass-produced stuff that use lots of salt and harsh, powder-based acids,” co-founder Natt explains. “We set out to change that!”
Its mash contains just three ingredients – high-quality chillies, cider vinegar produced locally in Hampshire, and as little salt as possible.
It currently grows around 20 varieties of chilli including scotch bonnet, jalapeno and cayenne. These are farmed in the UK, and increasingly in Rwanda where it has strong family connections.
Chilli Mash is an innovative local business with an impressive range of products – and more than a few surprising ones!
I reckon they’d make great Christmas stocking fillers for chilli lovers too.
They are open from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 5.30pm, so why not head over there and spice up your life?
Buy online or visit the shopfront at Unit 1, Hilsea Industrial Estate PO3 5JW
Did you know?
Eating chilli peppers regularly has been said to have a range of health benefits – from increasing metabolism to help burn calories, to helping build immunity against illness and infection!