Baby D’s Bee Sting
Q & A with the local hot sauce makers
Dillon and Ashley Hargrave are the owners of Baby D’s Bee Sting, a locally made hot sauce. The sauce is a blend of chili peppers, apple cider vinegar, onions, garlic and salt. Getting a new food business off the ground was made a little easier with the help of Kitchen 66, a program of the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation that helps Tulsa entrepreneurs find success in the food industry.
Baby D’s Bee Sting can be found at Kitchen 66, 907 S. Detroit Ave.; Bodean’s Seafood Market, 3376 E. 51st St.; Mr. Nice Guy’s, 111 E. M.B. Brady St.; Barn 66, 1607 N. Highway 66, Catoosa; and Chimera, 212 N. Main St.
Tell us how you got started. We got started when a farmer friend gifted us several pounds of hot and super-hot chili peppers last summer. We played with several test batches at home and started sharing them with friends and family. We were fortunate enough to be accepted into Kitchen 66’s Launch 1.0 program around that time. We incorporated Baby D’s Bee Sting in February and bottled our first commercial batch in March.
How did Kitchen 66 prepare you? What did you learn from the experience? The program prepared Baby D’s Bee Sting for success by giving us the resources needed to make and sell our sauces legally. Kitchen 66 gave us access to a commercial kitchen and the ability to operate under their licenses. We were also part of a community of food entrepreneurs working together to make Tulsa a more delicious city.
What celebrity or well-known person would you most want to try your product? Sean Evans from Hot Ones. He is probably less well known to people outside of the hot sauce community, but he is quickly becoming the person most often associated with hot sauce. He has a weekly YouTube show where he interviews celebrities while they make their way through 10 progressively hotter chicken wings. The show highlights the sauces each week, and the reactions are priceless.
What’s in your fridge at home? Local eggs, homemade roasted red pepper hummus, garlic herb goat cheese, homemade pesto pasta salad, organic carrots, organic blueberries, organic strawberries, Champagne, organic chicken, organic kale and organic super greens salad mix. Baby D’s is always in our kitchen, but it’s stored on the counter. Most hot sauce, including ours, is shelf-stable and does not require refrigeration.
Do you have a guilty pleasure food? Ice cream. We probably get a little too excited when we decide to run to STG after dinner for some of their super dark chocolate gelato. Sharing a kitchen with another K66 company, the Pop House, has been a dream come true because we have been able to test some of their new pops. They are using Baby D’s Bee Sting Jalahellño to make a pineapple jalapeño pop.
What’s your ultimate goal for your business? We want to be the most popular hot sauce brand in the world.