Hot Crispy Oil

Restaurant Pivots to Food Manufacturing After Closure

Today I’m speaking with John, the founder of Hot Crispy Oil in upstate NY. Hot Crispy Oil is a startup born during the recent pandemic after their family restaurant of 45 years closed down.  Listen in to find out how this local startup is catching fire in the Northeast after only a few short months!
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About Hot Crispy Oil

As John explains, “We came out pretty fast. We’re COVID born, the concept, the idea, was spawned off the closure of a family restaurant going back to when things got really hairy there back in March.” They officially launched in July but have already had some great success. They are already in about 40 retailers.

In March restaurants were shutting their doors left and right and they were one of those restaurants. La Serre was a 40 year old restaurant in the Albany area that relied heavily on their banquet business. It was evident something needed to change. 

Like many of us, John had been experimenting in the kitchen during COVID which is where he came up with the concept for Hot Crispy Oil. After a few tweaks and some love from family and friends, they decided to move full steam ahead with getting the product in the jar. 

The product itself is a blended olive oil which includes a little vegetable oil due to the smoke point for frying the garlic and shallots that make up the crispy portion. The heat comes from a blend of 4 to 5 different chili peppers.

Starting a Food Manufacturing Business During COVID

Anyone that’s tried to launch a food brand knows how many hurdles there are. During a pandemic, those hurdles are only amplified. John explains it was a drawn out process, especially to get what is called a scheduled process. You can submit your product for testing at Cornell University but unfortunately they all had their offices closed!

For John, this wasn’t a hobby or side-hustle. He was determined to make this work now that the restaurant was longer open. He put in the time, doing the research, grinding every day, finding out who to connect with to make Hot Crispy Oil a reality. 
If you want to hear more about how acidity affects your product testing and geek out on pH levels of food products be sure to listen in on the whole episode.

Marketing, Distribution & Expanding Production

In this episode we discuss the customer impact and how they bring ideas for using Hot Crispy Oil to the table. Initially starting with friends and family, I ask John about his first distribution points and starting to sell online. They were able to create a buzz for the product before releasing it to the public. 
John also discusses plans for further expansion if the business continues to grow as fast as it has been. There are some obvious hurdles that John explains about running a food manufacturing business out of a restaurant. Little things like being able to accept deliveries from a supplier. 
You can find their products online, on Amazon Prime and at their 40 retail locations that you can lookup on their website at https://hotcrispyoil.com. Don’t forget to join our email list for an exclusive 15% off coupon.
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