It was that time of year again….Blair’s Halloween Reserve was set to make its appearance…this time, alongside his long-awaited Jolokia chips! All coming to you live, via webcast from our brand new loft in Death Sauce HQ! And with the extra surprises Blair had in store, Halloween had never been this hot!! But….what happened instead surprised us all. Instead of a webcast, there was a superstorm….a hurricane, Nor’Easter, high tide, full moon combination called Sandy….and on October 29, 2012, she crushed the New Jersey coastline. She came with steady winds of over 80 mph. She came with an 11 foot surge of salt water and sludge. And she came with waves at record heights of over 30 feet.
What she left was complete destruction…..broken buildings, broken hearts, and broken lives. Sandy swallowed the shore, and wreaked havoc in The Highlands. The damage was astounding….literally overnight we went from busy beach town to sea-soaked shambles. And Death Sauce HQ had been hit….hard. Our first floor had been submerged, and for the first time in Death Sauce history, water had not only entered, but had inundated our warehouse….claiming everything from our forklift and generator to Death Sauce and Blair’s memorabilia.
Suddenly, our days switched from making, selling and shipping sauce, to tossing it in the trash. We helped fill giant dumpsters with Ultra, Golden, After, Sudden, Salsa….so much Death….product after product laid to rest before its time….sad. Instead of delivery trucks, there were dump trucks. Instead of packages, there were plows. Instead of normalcy, there were the National Guard, Red Cross, and FEMA….shelters, curfews, and donation drop-offs. In an instant, Sandy changed nearly everything. She changed landscape, and she changed lives….she even changed people. But in her aftermath of uncertainty, two things were sure…..she did not change Death Sauce….and she did not change Blair.
Despite having lost so much, he donated case after case of brand new product to help feed our town’s hungry. Despite having lost our first floor (Hurricane Irene renovations were completed just days before Hurricane Sandy struck), Blair is already reconstructing the space. And despite having zero flood insurance to cover the loss….Death Sauce lives! It lives because Blair’s passion and determination won’t die. And because his desire to do what he loves is stronger than the insane surge of a superstorm. And we are proud to say that despite all the negatives, he remains the same positive force he has always been.
And that positive energy has found its way back to us in many forms. But most overwhelming were the offers of assistance from chiliheads everywhere. Thank you for the outpouring of support! It’s awesome! Death Sauce lives, not only because of Blair, but because of you….sharing in his passion! And we are truly fortunate to be part of something so special….something that continues to grow stronger and hotter every day. 2013 is off with a jolt with the release of our crazy hot Jolokia Chips…just one of the many exciting things to come! We couldn’t stop Sandy, but she couldn’t stop us either…. it takes more than water to stop Blair’s from burning!!
So while Blair continues doing what he does best….making sauces, snacks, and smiles, we’ll continue doing what we do best….helping him help you to FEEL ALIVE!!
The Death Sauce Team