Made in Hackney: Dalston Chillies hot sauce is a one-man show

PUBLISHED: 10:05 26 May 2017

Ben's original hot scotch bonnet sauce, his chipotle ketchup, and a bajun Barbados style sauce

Ben's original hot scotch bonnet sauce, his chipotle ketchup, and a bajun Barbados style sauce

Dalston chillis

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we spoke to Ben Kulchstein who single-handedly pumps out hundreds of bottles of his chilli sauces every week.

Ben Kulchstein who founded Dalston ChilliesBen Kulchstein who founded Dalston Chillies

Ben Kulchstein founded Dalston Chillies in 2011 when his chilli sauce won a prize in a national amateur competition and the judges told him it was better than most of the professionals’.

“I figured it wasn’t just my friends being nice to get free hot sauce, and if they thought that maybe it was worth giving it a try,” said Ben, 38, who lives in Dalston.

Six years on, it’s “spiralled out of control”.

He’s currently “working to capacity” as a one-man-band, making as many as 2,500 bottles of sauce a week at The Ship pub’s kitchen in Mare Street every morning and sticking labels on them and sending them out every afternoon.

The former graphic designer is “a lot less stressed now”, though, running his own company.

His three sauces include his original Scotch bonnet hot sauce, a bajun Barbados style fiery piccalilli and a mild chipotle ketchup he developed for his girlfriend because she likes smokey things.

He supplies the Brew Dog bar chain and stockists include the De Beauvoir Deli and Pickles in Kingsland Road.

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