Alumni Valley enjoys sharing unique stories of how businesses have started. This happens to be one that stands out. Gaeleen, before she even had the idea of starting Eish Chilli, was making a quality chilli sauce that her friends loved dearly. So much so that requests for her chilli were building up. It is from this that she decided to turn her passion and talent for making chilli into a business venture.
At the beginning of 2012, after coming back from a family holiday, I decided to try out a recipe for a chilli sauce. As a family we have always enjoyed chilli sauce. I made so much that I gave away most of it to friends and before I knew it, there were requests for more. Inspiration and ideas for more flavours followed.
The most challenging aspect is finding the right chillies when I need them, and the time to juggle family life.
After deciding to bottle it, a name and packaging became important. As things usually happen, in the middle of the night, the name ‘Eish’ came to me. Perfect – the name is very South African and the word is very expressive too. The labels were designed by my son, an industrial designer.
I had so much interest shown in the product that I decided to continue it as a side line hobby, and I have since taken it on full time.
I made so much that I gave away most of it to friends and before I knew it, there were requests for more.
A crucial factor in making the product, was to keep it a healthy vegan option, and made with care. It is easy to make a chilli sauce that is hot, but the challenge was to make one with depth of flavour and not just burn – that’s why I say “It’s the tastiest chilli sauce around”. I currently still make the sauce by hand myself.
The most challenging aspect is finding the right chillies when I need them, and the time to juggle family life. I have decided to continue growing the brand, and have added a limited edition flavour, and a tomato chilli jam to the range.
…in the middle of the night, the name ‘Eish’ came to me. Perfect – the name is very South African and the word is very expressive too.
My advice would be to keep at it, do the food markets etc – it takes a while to get your products known.
Eish Chilli is currently available at various Spars, deli’s, farm stalls and online. It is also available at various gifts fairs towards the end of the year.
Be sure to get in contact with Gaeleen to place your Eish Chilli orders and to find out more about Eish Chilli: