While visiting Northwest Arkansas this weekend for my niece’s wedding (congrats Sarah and Josh-we had a blast!!!), I was so looking forward to visiting the Silly Chile Hot Sauce Shop in Eureka Springs. My wife brought me a jar of their candied jalapeno’s on a visit there a few years back, and talked about how great a shop it was, and how nice the man running it was. So we walked in, me full of spicy anticipation at trying new treats, checking out the selection, and maybe scoring some fun new hot, fiery delight! And they did have a great selection! Just check out some of my finds! A little Silverleaf action, some Heartbreaking Dawn’s, Cajohn’s, and lots of Dave’s and Blair’s! And some brands and products I had never seen! I was jazzed! Hyped! Ready to add to a collection already overflowing from my recent jaunts to the Houston and New Orleans shows! Just check out some of the products below!
But alas, I was SO TURNED OFF by the attitude of the ladies running the shop I left in disgust! I was ready to talk sauce! Spice! Heat! Maybe learn something new! But they were so snotty and rude they robbed my hot sauce lovin’ joy! They made me quit taking pictures! “No pictures in the store!!!” I was told like being scolded by my first grade teacher! And when I saw the sample bottle of CaJohn’s Happy Beaver and asked the lady if she sold much of it, she condescendingly replied, “well, it DOES have Ghost Pepper in it so it’s very hot…so we sell a little.” And I started to ask, “how do you like the Silverleaf products? Isn’t the garlic the bomb? Aren’t the Mediterranean Sprinkles a great seasoning? And did you know they’re coming out with a ghost pepper stone ground mustard?” She just looked at me like I was from Mars! So I dared not even go into my love of HBD’s Bad Brains and how they had to have it in the store. My joy was gone….spirit robbed!
Why do I tell you this saga? Ahhhh…….Caveat Emptor! Let the Buyer Beware! The Silly Chile hot sauce shop has good products, but they are charging hugely inflated over the top tourist prices, and the ladies who were running the shop patronizing, condescending, and rude! But that’s not the main reason……
The Chilehead community is a family, folks! It’s the thing that draws me in…the helpful nature of the small batch sauce makers, the way everyone is warm, friendly, and inviting- the enthusiasm of hot sauce shop owners (think James and Amy’s new Houston shop iBurn-where everyone knows your name…..oh wait, that’s Cheer’s, but iBurn will learn your name!), and I could go on and on! So I’m torn with the Yin and Yang of promoting a store selling good products made by good people, and telling people to not support a store run by people who are absolutely counter to who we are as true Chileheads!!!
Okay, I feel better now. Thanks for allowing the rant, and always remember that , yes Virginia, it’s a Fiery World!!!!!