Bruce and Stacey Ollis of Brucesghostpepperz.com are not only long-time Wellington residents, but they are being considered along with thousands of other applicants for the opportunity to be awarded a small business grant from Mission Main Street Grants, offered by Chase to help small businesses become successful start-up ventures.
Brucesghostpepperz.com is a unique family business that has grown in just three years from a handful of ghost pepper seeds into a hot local commodity. As certified growers, the company sells ghost pepper plants and seeds, as well as artisanal chili pepper products made with local, farm-fresh ingredients. Products include ghost pepper hot sauce, pepper jams, bloody mary mix, spicy rubs, guacamole and dip mixes, powders and other hot and spicy items.
Each year, the company continues to grow, with several new items just around the corner for the upcoming season, such as Bruce’s Ghost Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam, Habanero Key Lime Hot Sauce, Ghost Blackened Rub, and Make-It-Yourself Ghost-Pineapple BBQ Sauce. The company also offers custom gift-wrapped packages for holidays, wedding favors and other special occasions. Their products are available at several green markets and local venues, as well as online at www.brucesghostpepperz.com.
Bhut jolokia (a.k.a., the ghost pepper) has been around for many centuries and is believed to have originated in India. The word bhut means “ghost” and was likely given the name because of how the heat sneaks up on you. In 2007, the ghost pepper was certified as the “World’s Hottest Chili Pepper” by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Although some people shy away from these brightly colored and pungent fruits, eating capsaicin (the natural chemical that gives chili peppers their heat) is actually very beneficial to the body and provides an extensive list of natural health benefits, ranging from pain relief and anti-inflammatory to heart-health properties.
Voting for the grant competition is underway through Oct. 17, with each applicant needing at least 250 votes to qualify for the next round of review and judging by an expert business panel. To cast your vote in support of this local business, visit www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/28257. More information is also available at www.brucesghostpepperz.com.
ABOVE: Brucesghostpepperz.com at a local green market.