I am proud to be the new Social Media Editor of Henchmen’s Wing Sauces. I recently began a Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/HenchmensSauces) and a Twitter Handle (@HenchmensSauces) to help begin a social media strategy for this emerging company. Help us spread the word about these new pages and expect the latest news, events and recipes from Henchmen’s Wing Sauces!
At Henchmen’s Sauces, the quality is the most important thing that goes in to each bottle of sauce. I recently sat down with Blaine and Keith Hench to discuss their new venture, bottling their sauces and getting them out to the public.
- How did you get started with Henchmen’s Wing Sauces?
Henchmen’s Wing Sauces began when we worked at our family restaurant for 26 years, Ye Olde Ale House. We were one of the first establishments in the Harrisburg area to not only serve wings, but make our own hot sauce (as well as many other sauces) to use on these wings. It took us quite some time, almost a year, to perfect our signature hot wing sauce. We then began experimenting with a variety of other sauces, which we look forward to bottling in the future. After our family decided that the restaurant would no longer operate, our first mission was to bottle our famous wing sauce.
For a brief history of the “Buffalo” Wing, go to this blog piece from Smithsonian.com (http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/food/2013/02/a-brief-history-of-the-buffalo-chicken-wing/)
- What awards have you won?
Ye Olde Ale House and Henchmen’s Sauces only entered three different competitions over the years. Our first competition was the establishment formerly known as Wanda’s. Not only was in an awesome experience where we got to meet a lot of our fans and new potential customers, we actually won the competition. That allowed us to travel to the state competition in Altoona at the Altoona Curve’s Stadium. This was a much different set-up as opposed to what we had already entered. First of all, it was a 2-week competition. Week 1 we were able to set-up wherever we could find a spot within the stadium. This week was amazing for us! We fared very well, getting a lot of positive feedback from new and old fans alike. Even the 2-Time Defending Champion actually told us that our wings were better than his were!
From the high we left week 1 with, was the low that we left week 2 with. In the finals they lined us up in alphabetical order starting at the entrance of the park. Needless to say with a name of Ye Olde Ale House, we were at the end of the line and sat empty for the first 2 hours. After it was over, we had people telling us that we deserved to win and it was not fair the way they had it set up. At the end of the day, we were proud of our product and learned from the experience.
Now that we have our sauce bottled, we are currently looking into new competitions to enter. We are considering the Scovie Awards, the Fiery Food Challenge and other local and national competitions to enhance our brand.
Keith and Blaine labeling their sauces for distribution.
- Where are your sauces sold?
Right now our sauce is available at John Gross and Company (http://www.gross-ery.com/) in Mechanicsburg and also through Flavor Palooza (http://www.facebook.com/FlavorPAlooza). We are currently trying to get it into Karn’s, Weis and other local retailers. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time, effort and energy to get into established retail markets that would help us expand. Until then, we have to make sure we find every avenue to get our sauce from warehouse to kitchen table.
- How did you get involved with FlavorPAlooza? How is your experience with them?
We were contacted by Dan through a mutual friend who has done all of our art work. We have only been doing business with Flavor Palooza for a short while but it has been amazing. To have Dan and FlavorPAlooza reach audiences that we would not typically be able to reach is truly helpful. But beyond that, Dan represents similar ideologies as Henchmen’s Sauces; a small, local business that focuses on quality and is made in small batches. We will be sure to announce on our new Facebook page when and where FlavorPAlooza will be so our fans will always be stocked up with Henchmen’s Wing Sauce.
FlavorPAlooza’s Business Card designed by KollisionMedia
- How is your sauce better than the average hot sauce?
The one thing that stands out about our sauce is the combination of flavor and heat. A majority of corporate hot sauces are hot just to be hot and don’t supply flavor to add to the wing. Henchmen’s Wing Sauce is the perfect combination of flavor and heat. But beyond that, our sauce is very versatile and can be used on just about anything. It can also be used as an outstanding base to build many other sauces from. We actually have a variety of sauces that we are looking to bottle in the future, once our signature sauce takes off like we know it will.
- What does the future hold for Henchmen Wing Sauce?
We would like to think big and say it will someday be worldwide. This is a sauce that we are very passionate about. When you make something that you know is better than any other sauce out there, everyone anywhere should have a chance to experience the fully flavored hot sauce that we provide. As we mentioned above, we are seriously looking into local, regional and national competitions to get Henchmen’s Sauces the recognition we deserve.
- Is there anything else you would like to mention that we haven’t covered?
We are two brothers who have poured their hearts and souls into a product that we believe is the best on the market. When you believe in something that strongly you need to share it with the world!
Keep up with Henchmen’s Wing Sauces at their new Facebook page and Twitter Feed.
Henchmen’s Sauces Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HenchmensSauces
Twitter Feed: @HenchmensSauces
Paul M. Miller