There is nothing like a soulful chat with self.
Something has been tugging at me for a while now. There was a clear picture with a clear message. However, this image was distorted like looking through a fogged mirror. It was a conversation. One that I had been subconsciously avoiding.
During a recent walk, alone in nature, the message was finally revealed.
I will no longer be making nor selling any products.
I have had this nagging feeling for a long time now, that my heart is not in the game anymore, and I really could not pin down why. There has been a joy missing. Saucier Willy was born out of the love I have for food, and hot sauce. However though, more than anything, Saucier Willy was raised around the love of being able to do all of this with my best friend and wife, Gwen. The heart of this company has beaten through the power of her and my boys. Family is the pulse. Most of you know by now that her health has been a massive struggle. I am a full-time caregiver to her and our 2 children. My life is very different now than 5 years ago.
I used to spend hours in a kitchen working for someone else, clock out of that job, and begin spending long hours in a kitchen working for myself. Buying ingredients and supplies, picking peppers, driving to Lancaster to pick up bottles, lids, and jars to save on shipping costs, prepping, cooking, bottling, cleaning, labeling, selling at events and farmers markets, selling to other local businesses, and so much more… That is a life behind me now. It was grueling work a lot of the time, and if I am being honest, there is plenty about it that I will not miss. My energy must be placed elsewhere.
Outside of the physical labor involved, it also cost a great deal of money to run a licensed food company. Every new product needs to be sent away to be tested in a lab for shelf stability and safety. I must maintain a yearly insurance on my company, yearly payments to the Health Department, fees to rent kitchen space as my operating facility, all production costs, etc. Up until this past Summer I was in debt for quite a while. I finally feel free. I have a savings account now. So, not only do I not have the energy to support this any longer, but I also cannot financially support it either.
Saucier Willy has gone through much evolution since its inception in 2015. Now, I don’t know all of what the future holds for Saucier Willy, but I will continue to focus on creating more content for my podcast, disABILITY. I will also continue to make cooking with cannabis videos and teaching classes when I am able. At some point in the future, I would like to release a cookbook. There is no complete vision for this yet, but I imagine it having a myriad of material. Some ideas I have are recipes of course, cooking with cannabis information and fun stories. I also plan to incorporate the recipes to the products I used to make and sell to all of you. I never saw the significance of taking recipes with you to your grave like some secret. Creating something is a joy and if I cannot share that with the world than what the hell is the point?
Although my time bottling concoctions has come to an end, the pages of Saucier Willy will continue to turn. You should know that I did not arrive at this decision lightly. For the past couple years, I kept telling myself that I would keep going no matter what. I would find time, continue to make products, and not give up or tap out. Deep down I wrestled with fears. Fears of failure. Fears of letting myself down… letting my wife and kids down… letting down every single one of you. I have come to realize that there is no reason for me to hang my head. I have not failed because I have learned and gained so much. I basked in the joy of some amazing moments, while learning valuable lessons during some dark and stormy lows. I do not walk away from this transition empty handed. I look back with only smiles and happiness. What an opportunity that I was able to share something that I enjoyed with SO MANY people. Your endless support and love throughout the years will be something I cherish for life.
Sitting down to write this was not only for you but mainly for me. My closure to this chapter. Onto more growth.
As we say in the kitchen…
Hot Sauce-Seasoning-Simple Syrup-Marmalade-Preserves