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Maryland Cannabis Connoisseur
WILL PARKS - SAUCIER WILLY
The Maryland Connoisseur Interview
So in putting all the work in that's required to have this resource website for Maryland patients I have run into other people who are equally hard at work contributing to the new scene, since I love food... food and cannabis just go together so it seemed inevitable that I would meet someone like Will Parks.
Will is making a name for himself in the Baltimore Foodie Scene and now also in the Maryland Cannabis scene... Will took some time on his busy Sunday to talk with me about, food, spiciness, family, local roots and how he started on the path to become a patient in Maryland.
MC - How did it all begin for you Will?
WP -I enjoy spicy food, and well, food in general. Making hot sauce was a hobby when I was a teenager. I loved combining spicy and sweet, and the combination of fruit into my hot sauces as well. Upon graduating high school I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. At the time I was working part-time at Wegmans and beginning to think of the future. I eventually decided to enroll in culinary school and give cooking a shot, since I already had an interest in that field. I completed culinary school in 09' and started working in the prepared foods department at Wegmans.
I worked in various sections throughout the department including the wokery which is where I met my future wife. Wegmans was great, but i yearned for more of a culinary challenge. I moved on to work at the 'Milton Inn' located in Sparks, MD. This award winning fine dining establishment is where I really started to blossom and hone my craft. Everything we made was from scratch. Breaking down premier cuts of meat, dressings, soups, sauces, desserts, etc. I really enjoyed learning as much as I could.
After a few years though I ultimately made the decision to move on for a more family friendly schedule. Late nights and being absent for holidays was something I promised myself I wouldn't do when the time came for me to start a family. Family is everything to me.
MC - That dovetails perfectly to my next question about your family, behind every great man is an equally great woman.
WP -Saucier Willy would not exist without Gwen (my wife AKA Saucy Mama). She pushed, shoved, and kicked me in the ass about turning my hot sauce into a company. She saw something that I didn't, and her confidence in me and what we can do is what still drives me today. Her knowledge in the retail and culinary fields are really an asset. The company was built around my signature hot sauce "Devil's Blood" A spicy, sweet, tangy, all-around put this shit on everything type sauce. The 'Virgin Island Rub' was also a big part of the foundation of Saucier Willy, it's my wife's grandmother's recipe that we used as our wedding favors, we received so much good feedback from our guests we knew this had to be in the lineup.
'Saucier' is French, meaning 'a chef who prepares sauces'. 'Willy' is a fun nickname I've had throughout the years. This summer marks 3 years of being in business. I was running this company all while having a full time job, and being a Dad of 2. This past fall I recently started working part-time to give more of my time to my own company.
MC - So tell me about your obvious passion for FOOD!
WP -I love food. It brought me to the love of my life, and inevitably my company. Food brings people together. It's an expression of ones culture and who they are. Any event in your life, whether it be a celebration or a holiday etc., is usually always centered around food.
MC - That's great, I was reading recently about why humans are so enamored of Barbecue in particular and it's pretty deep stuff, when humans were primitive fire and meat were the two basic items in life if those two things came together it meant you had a crowd of people, some things change and some things never do, we still react that same way to fire and meat.
MC - More on your family, you have a great marriage with a great women, how about your kids?
WP -As I stated above, family is everything. I will sacrifice anything for my wife and 2 kids. They will always come first. From the moment I wake up I'm already looking forward to coming home and being with them. I just want to be the best husband and father that I can be.
MC - We all most definitely can relate to that, the modern world is so hectic, home and family become a kind of sanctuary.
How and why did you become a Maryland Medical Cannabis Patient... everyone has their own path?
WP -Becoming a medical cannabis patient was a no-brainer for me. I have extremely bad anxiety. Worrying every second about the smallest thing to the point where I can't sleep, giving myself migraines, having anxiety attacks, feeling like a ball of energy ready to explode... the list goes on. Cannabis was really the only thing that ever helped me manage these symptoms. It helps to keep me balanced and honestly saved my marriage. I'm a big advocate for the holistic approach and anything natural. I didn't want to be prescribed an anxiety medication and have to deal with all the adverse effects it comes with. I know what works for me and if it ain't broke don't fix it. I'm happy to be a part of the cannabis movement, and to move toward the future of breaking the stigma of being able to freely medicate with this extremely beneficial plant.
MC - We Agree 100%!
Tell me about your upcoming events and connections to the Maryland Cannabis Scene?
WP -Saucier Willy has some exciting ventures in this new cannabis movement as well! We are building recipes that will allow patients to use their medical cannabis with our products so they can make quick and easy edibles at home. We will be partnering with different dispensaries to host events where we can teach patients the basics on making edibles, how to use them in their everyday diet, and how to incorporate our own products as well.
*Saucier Willy Events Coming Up*
WP -We have an event planned withCuraleafin early June. We're also planning events withChesacanna, as well as, having our products available in their dispensary for purchase.
Connect With Saucier Willy
"Everything in life is better if it is a little spicier, tangier and saucier! Saucier Willyis dedicated to producing intricately made concoctions from fresh ingredients that invoke your taste-buds to long for more.
We use local farms to source our ingredients, support our community through this partnership and provide our customers with unique and fresh products. Small batch hot sauces, marmalades, preserves, seasonings and simple syrups"