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A teacher's hot and spicy pandemic pivot

You might see a new face at western Washington farmers markets — Tony Wilson's new hot sauce business. #k5evening

SEATTLE — Papa Tony's Hot Sauce began as a pandemic pivot. Tony Wilson, a former social studies teacher, moved with his family to Seattle. Without a job and in a new place, he developed a passion for cooking.

"Tony's Hot Sauce to me is the story of family creativity and believing in yourself and betting on yourself," said Tony Wilson, owner of Papa Tony's Hot Sauce.

He and his wife baked bread, cooked a variety of dishes, and watched plenty of YouTube videos.

"I fell in love with the videos of people processing peppers," Wilson said. "And then I see all these beautiful habaneros on the wall, and I just grabbed them, threw them in the car and my wife was like, 'What are you doing?' And I said, 'I have no idea.'"

Credit: Donovon O'Neill & TJ Hemmen
Papa Tony's Hot Sauce

Wilson definitely knows what he's doing now. His hot sauce collection sells fast at markets. He has four flavors — Ghostly Garlic, Mango Habanero, Scorpion's Kiss, and Garlic Habanero. The most popular flavor is Mango Habanero.

"I used the pandemic to say, 'I feel like God is going tell me where to go for my next step,' and then I was led to now making hot sauces," Wilson said.

You can find Papa Tony's Hot Sauce at multiple farmers markets, including the West Seattle Farmers' Market. You can also buy his hot sauce online.

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