This new Dominican Hot Sauce Company is selling their delicious creations all over Philly
Fernandez makes his own hot sauces, and also helps fight food insecurity in Philadelphia.
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Radhi Fernandez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with a large family who always loved getting together and sharing meals.
So, when Fernandez immigrated to Philadelphia from the Dominican Republic in 2012, he knew that he wanted to bring with him a piece of his Caribbean roots and create a new business venture.
Fernandez found the time to focus on his up and coming business called, The Faiya Company, in May 2020, during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Right now, his company focuses on creating all natural, hot sauces created by vegetables grown from Fernandez’s own garden.
“I grow all of the hot peppers used for my limited sauce, like Carolina reapers and red habaneros,” he said.
In order to support small businesses, he gets his other vegetables from local farmers who sell them at the farmer’s market.
His recipes are a blend of his Dominican heritage and his wife’s Mexican roots. Fernandez admitted that his wife also helped him in every step of the way in order to get his product right.
“Dominicans really don't eat that spicy food, so it wasn't a part of me growing up,” Fernandez said. “My wife is Mexican and so I was introduced to spicy food through that.”
Fernandez’s family and friends also helped spread the word about his new hot sauce line through social media.
“I did little to no advertising,” said Fernandez. “So, I honestly was really lucky when I made that first batch on Facebook.”
His six hot sauces include his fast-selling “La Muerte,” made from homegrown Carolina Reapers, Caribbean Red Habaneros, and “the tears of its enemies.” Another customer favorite is his, “What the Fuego” sauce, which is made from fresh mangoes, habaneros, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and apple cider vinegar.
With his new recipes ready to sell, he later decided to head to different farmer’s markets around Philadelphia to meet with locals and share his recipes in person.
“I truly enjoy meeting new people and talking to them at the markets,” he said. “It's the best feeling.”
In addition to farmer’s markets, Fernandez’s business can also be found at small businesses around the city, such as The Head Nut at the Reading Terminal Market and V Marks The Shop in South Philly.
As Fernandez became more involved with his customers, he saw a rise in sales, which inspired him to focus on other ventures such as spice rubs and other seasonings, which are in the works.
He also began a partnership with Philabundance, a non-profit organization in Philadelphia founded in 1844 that fights food insecurity for locals in Philadelphia by donating over 55,000,000 pounds of food per year.
“I want to be able to help the city the way the city helps me,” he said.
Check out his website and if you are a true Philly foodie, try his sauces on a cheesesteak!