When Dave VanWye rediscovered his grandmother’s chili sauce recipe after the death of his mother, he had no idea it would blaze a new career path.
The Indianapolis resident began making batches of the sauce and offering it to family and friends, who told him it was so good he should bottle and sell it. So, he did.
Four years later, Amazing Hazel’s has become so popular, it’s in 75 retail locations and has been shipped to 40 states. The company’s products are consumed everywhere from Carmel’s Hotel Carmichael to the University of Kentucky to the Hilton in downtown Louisville.
Amazing Hazel’s — named after VanWye’s grandmother — recently opened a storefront on the southeast corner of Range Line Road and City Center Drive.
“We’re a pandemic opening instead of a pandemic closing,” VanWye said.
VanWye, who previously worked for 35 years in IT, expanded his offerings beyond chili sauce when he found a use for the gallons of tomato-infused water he had been pouring down the drain in the process of making the sauce.
“I don’t really like to waste, so I came up with a recipe for the Bloody Mary mix, which is now outselling the original chili sauce,” Vanwye said.
Amazing Hazel’s also sells hot sauces and a seasoning mix originally blended for the rim of cups containing Bloody Marys. Van Wye said the seasoning mix pairs well with eggs and various meats.
Learn more at amazinghazels.com.