A company born out of curiosity and a bit of luck, Frankton Heat Hot Sauce in Queenstown came about after Lucas Parkinson spent a quiet Friday night cooking up what he thought would make hot sauce. Parkinson said from there it’s been a pretty epic tale, and he shared his story with the team.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
"After a decade of working hard climbing the ranks of world class fine diners, I had had enough. I quit my job as sous chef at the sixth best luxury lodge in the world, Matakauri Lodge, and decided to let life live through me. For the first time since I was a kid have no plans and just see what happens next.
A few weeks into my hiatus I got the urge to make my favourite condiment hot sauce, armed with the knowledge of a chef and absolutely no idea of how to make the sauce I spent a night cooking up what I thought would make hot sauce. Looking back on it I could have just watched YouTube, but I guess that takes away from the beauty of creation."
What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
"Currently, I produce one flavour, and it’s a damn good one. I’ve modelled my company similar to Gary from Kaitaia Fire, do one sauce and do it well. We hope to add one or two more flavours in time and in all honesty he’s the godfather of New Zealand hot sauce and a huge inspiration for us.
It’s a very unique sauce that tastes like no other on the market, using techniques such as reduction, maturing, clarification, cymatics and super fine filtering that must be done by hand, this resulted in us winning gold at the coveted 2015 Mr Chilli Awards in Australia or better known as the hot sauce Bledisloe! And also featuring at the 2016 world hot sauce awards in Louisiana and the NYC hot sauce awards and much recently the first New Zealand hot sauce festival. We are so unique that we have taken on the title of ‘Otago style hot sauce’.
Frankton Heat is gluten free, has no MSG, uses no preservatives and is 100 percent all natural and hand crafted by me. The unique bottle and dripping wax dipped lids, like that of Makers Mark whisky, are a big hit with both customers and retailers alike.
It really is a perfectly balanced sauce touching base on all five of the culinary senses, created to be served on all types of cuisine."
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
"We are expanding and growing larger every day and recently grew over 100kg of chillies down here in Otago, which are fermenting and will be released as one-off batches meaning they will most likely never be repeated. This adds to the excitement of the product."
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
"Currently, we stock over 60 cafes, restaurants and fine food stores nationwide plus a few Fresh Choice supermarkets in the South Island and have a simple online ordering system.
We would like to be available in every supermarket in New Zealand and expand to Australia, Asia, Europe and America.
That’s the goal at least!"