East Coast Chilli Company is owned and run by me, Tim Chapman, ably assisted by my long-term partner, Leanne Evans.
We met through work at an insurance company and were it not for redundancy we would probably both still be there now. Leanne still is. Thanks for bank-rolling me through the early months!
I’ve worked in insurance for most of my working life, with the exception of an ill-considered stint as a double glazing rep. Like everyone else without exception who works in insurance, this is largely because I could never figure out what I wanted to do.
Once the threat of redundancy became a reality, Leanne was offered and took a 9 month seconded position. With Leanne’s backing – both financially and motivationally – I was determined to take the redundancy as a hefty kick up the backside to try something different. I spent most of my notice period trying to figure out what that might be.
The answer now seems so blindingly obvious that it’s a wonder I ever seriously considered goose farming! Even our cat, now 15 years old, is called Chilli.
Since cooking with my Mum as a child, through to eating vindaloos after the pubs shut and on to the wonder of growing my own chillies on the windowsill (I couldn’t believe you could actually grow your own chillies) cooking and spicy food in particular have always played a part in my life. In fact, with the exception of drinking beer, eating and cooking spicy food are two of the only things I’m any good at. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy them so much. Or is it the other way around?
The first two sauces I ever made were pretty basic efforts and were more to see if I could actually make a chilli sauce. The third one I tried is actually in production today and the rest were born through a mixture of trial, error, creativity and sheer luck. A huge amount of thanks go to Mark, Lynn, Rachel, Matt and Mike for being brave little guinea pigs and for their support and constructive feedback.
The chilli sauces on offer today range from mild to extra hot (steering clear, for this range anyway, of extracts) and are made for the taste rather than just the heat. Believe me, I’ve done my research into chilli sauces and these are good! I’ve added some recipe ideas for each sauce and will continue to update these. Please do contact me with any of your own. I’ll try them out and if I think they’re any good I’ll add them to the page.
We use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, using onions, garlic and whatever chillies we can grow ourselves. The aim is to be able to do this on a scale to make us self-sufficient in these ingredients. All the sauces are made by me in my kitchen at home, usually listening to Slayer, and although Leanne decided to take the offer of turning the secondment into a permanent position you can find us both in our gazebo at country fairs and farmers’ markets throughout East Anglia.
We look forward to seeing you there. Don’t go for the hottest sauce first; you’ll not be able to taste the others!