Taste a new Grand Valley product — Rocky Mountain Sriracha | PostIndependent.com

Taste a new Grand Valley product — Rocky Mountain Sriracha

Brittany Markert
bmarkert@gjfreepress.com
Red Chili Pepper on White
Getty Images/Hemera | Hemera

SAUCY FACTS

Sriracha sauce originated in Thailand and is named after the coastal city of Si Racha, where it was possibly produced first for dishes served at local seafood restaurants.

Garlic helps separate the sauce from other chili sauces.

It’s also good for lowing cholesterol and blood pressure.

The peppers used contain capsaicin, which is known to boost metabolism and bolster weight loss.

Some swear Sriracha sauce should be used as part of a cold-remedy recipe, which includes ginger, lemon juice, a squirt or two of sriracha sauce, and hot water.

It’s getting hot in the Grand Valley, and not because summer is coming.

Rocky Mountain Sriracha, a partnership between a Grand Junction resident and a group of Colorado Mesa University students, recently started a crowd-funded campaign to kick start their new (local!) business. They’re currently about half way to reaching their $8,000 goal, with the funding push ending on June 14. Pledges can be made from $5 to $900 with various items, from jars of the spicy sauce to T-shirts, given as swag to donors.

“The money goes towards first fulfilling the orders, shipping, and start-up costs of the company,” co-founder Chris Becker said. “The remainder will go to the student partners to help pay a salary.”

WHAT IS IT?

Rocky Mountain Sriracha is a spicy, flavorful hot sauce made at the Grand Junction Incubator Center’s kitchen with help from a registered dietitian and CMU graduate Jess Stieler.

“We have sent samples to food blogs, and the response has been great,” student and co-owner Patrick Wall said.

According to the students involved in the project, Rocky Mountain Sriracha is different than other sriracha sauces available because its ingredients include fresh fresno peppers from Louisiana, organic garlic from Avondale, Colo., organic agave nectar, organic sea salt, and light vinegar. They also said sriracha is slowly taking the place of ranch, which is the usual staple to put on everything. Their sauce is used on a variety of foods, from pizza to wings to scrambled eggs. It’s also suggested to mix with ranch for a completely different taste.

“It’s semi-sweet from the agave nectar and warm from the peppers,” recent CMU graduate and co-owner Brandon Burton said. “It has a kick to it.”

IT’S A TEAM EFFORT

Becker, of West Star Aviation, recently formulated a recipe for a sriracha sauce with a local businessman (and sriracha connoisseur) PJ McGovern, who suggested to partner with CMU’s business program. Becker then contacted Georgann Jouflas, a professor at the university, who presented the idea to students in her entrepreneur class.

Her students — which includes Becker, Burton, Wall, Sean Foster and Johnny Nitti — took on the project and presented their plan at Entrepreneur Day as an elevator speech, winning second place and $500. That money was used to start up the funding for creating Rocky Mountain Sriracha.

Becker isn’t the sole owner of the company; each student is also a part owner.

“I hope the business will grow and the students continue to run it,” he added.

WANT TO DONATE?

Not only will donated money help fund Rocky Mountain Sriracha, but a portion of the profits will benefit two other nonprofits — Donors Choose, http://www.donorschoose.org, and Mercy Ships, http://www.mercyships.us.

For more information, visit http://www.kickstarter.com and search for Rocky Mountain Sriracha.


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