Sexy ketchup: Eagle couple releases Sendy Sauce, the hot sauce for mountain towns
'We go through a lot of hot sauce'
While the first batch of Sendy Sauce was bottled on July 17, the hot sauce started in an Eagle couple’s kitchen is already in over a dozen local liquor stores, grocery stores and restaurants.
And it’s hard to miss the 5-ounce bottles with a label perfect for a ski town — featuring a pepper wearing goggles “sending it” on skis, poles in hand.
Clay and Kali Vansteel, of Eagle, decided to make their own hot sauce after looking at food processor given to them as a wedding gift sit unopened for years. Clay works for the Bachelor Gulch Metro District and Kali manages the Dogma Athletica studio in Edwards.
The self-declared “side project” of the couple is already gaining steam. What started as a product for friends and family, Sendy Sauce is available for about $6 around the valley and is shipped to over 30 states.
“It’s just slowly growing,” Clay said, “and it’s fun.”
‘What’s in hot sauce?’
Clay admits he’s not a chef, but he wanted to put that food processor to work.
“I didn’t know what we were going to make,” he said. “We go through a lot of hot sauce, maybe we’ll start there.”
Using Google, they searched “What’s in hot sauce?”
They concocted three different kinds on the first go-round, with the very first one being the one picked to be sold in stores, called The O.G. Hot Sauce — “It’s my O.G.” Clay said.
“We started with full-on latex gloves and goggles, but then I don’t know if we got immune to it or what, but we were cooking,” Clay said.
As the demand grew for their homegrown hot sauce, the Vansteels expanded to have the hot sauce made in Denver.
“We want to keep everything as close to home as possible,” Clay said.
Sendy Sauce also sends a little taste of home by wrapping bottles in old Vail Daily newspapers to send to hot sauce fans outside of the Vail Valley, including professional snowboarder Scotty Lago.
“People like that or people who used to live in the valley, I’ll put a fresh Vail Daily in there,” Clay said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Up next for Sendy Sauce will be more flavors of hot sauce, with a Full Send option in the works. Clay said he’s hoping to have logos for the bottles that are seasonal, possibly including a mountain biker for the summer.
“My friend said he’s not buying a bottle until there’s a snowboarder on it,” Clay said.
Across the valley, Sendy Sauce is making an impression. And local businesses are happy to help another fellow local endeavor get off the ground.
“It’s awesome, that’s how I got started,” said Connie Leaf, owner of Village Bagel in Edwards, one of the locations to pick up Sendy Sauce.
At Boone’s Wine and Spirits in Eagle, a case of Sendy Sauce has already gone off the shelves with more on the way.
“We’ve gotten a lot of support already,” Clay said.
Follow Sendy Sauce
“We like to shout out the businesses that are supporting us, and our friends and family who send us pictures of what they’re using it on,” said Sendy Sauce co-founder Clay Vansteel.
Where to get Sendy Sauce
- Dogma Athletica, Edwards
- West Vail Liquor, Vail
- Boone’s Wine and Spirits, Eagle
- Mt. Massive Liquors, Leadville
- Beaver Liquors, Avon
- Pier 13 Liquor, EagleVail
- Riverwalk Wine, Edwards
- Village Bagel, Edwards
- Eagle Ranch Wine and Spirits, Eagle
- Colorado Meat Co., Avon
- More locations coming soon
The back of the Sendy Sauce bottle lists the ingredients as well as defines “Sendy” as:
“The act of ‘extreme-going-for-it-ness’ commonly referenced in hitting big ski jumps, driving golf balls as far as possible, always texting women out of your league, and never hesitating to add more Sendy Sauce.”
Ingredients: Vinegar, tomatoes, peppers salt, spices, cane sugar, xanthan gum (all natural preservatives and gluten free)