Mad Sweet Heat

WT was a proud sponsor of the 2016 Dye Hard 5K

benefiting the Developmental Disabilities of

Clark County Levy Committee

We sat down with Mark and Debbie Titus, owners of MAD SWEET HEAT to discuss the success of their delicious candied jalapenos in their first year of business:

 

What sparked the genesis of MAD SWEET HEAT?  

In a nutshell, a conversation with Scott Griffith of the Western Clark County Business Coalition (WCCBC) during an event being held at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center was the spark needed to set us in motion to obtain the knowledge, training and licensure for what developed into MAD SWEET HEAT.

 

How did you get into canning?

I’ve been canning since around the age of 12.  I was extremely lucky in that my parents canned numerous items grown in our garden every year.  My interest was then renewed about 15 years ago when I was given a recipe for jalapenos, which after several years of tweaking became known as MAD SWEET HEAT.

 

What is your cooking/food background?

I was lucky enough to be the daughter of two amazing cooks.  My parents felt it was important for a

girl to know how to cook and bake.  Growing up in the Northwestern School District I just happened

to live on the same county road as Mrs. Freda Barnhart.  Mrs. Barnhart was my 4-H instructor, and

she not only helped me learn to cook, but sew as well.  She would always tell me I was destined to be

a “domestic goddess”!   With her guidance I was able to win both a first and second place ribbon at the

Clark County Fair.  Mark on the other hand was one of the 4 boys who took the first cooking class

offered at North High School in the fall of 1971. 

 

Describe the canning process for those unfamiliar with it?

We’ve learned canning on a commercial level is certainly far different than canning at home.  There

are quality control processes that must be adhered to that most are unfamiliar with as a home canner,

such as PH testing.

WT was a proud sponsor of the 2016 Dye Hard 5K

benefiting the Developmental Disabilities of

Clark County Levy Committee

We sat down with Mark and Debbie Titus, owners of MAD SWEET HEAT to discuss the success of their delicious candied jalapenos in their first year of business:

 

What sparked the genesis of MAD SWEET HEAT?  

In a nutshell, a conversation with Scott Griffith of the Western Clark County Business Coalition (WCCBC) during an event being held at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center was the spark needed to set us in motion to obtain the knowledge, training and licensure for what developed into MAD SWEET HEAT.

 

How did you get into canning?

I’ve been canning since around the age of 12.  I was extremely lucky in that my parents canned numerous items grown in our garden every year.  My interest was then renewed about 15 years ago when I was given a recipe for jalapenos, which after several years of tweaking became known as MAD SWEET HEAT.

 

What is your cooking/food background?

I was lucky enough to be the daughter of two amazing cooks.  My parents felt it was important for a

girl to know how to cook and bake.  Growing up in the Northwestern School District I just happened

to live on the same county road as Mrs. Freda Barnhart.  Mrs. Barnhart was my 4-H instructor, and

she not only helped me learn to cook, but sew as well.  She would always tell me I was destined to be

a “domestic goddess”!   With her guidance I was able to win both a first and second place ribbon at the

Clark County Fair.  Mark on the other hand was one of the 4 boys who took the first cooking class

offered at North High School in the fall of 1971. 

 

Describe the canning process for those unfamiliar with it?

We’ve learned canning on a commercial level is certainly far different than canning at home.  There

are quality control processes that must be adhered to that most are unfamiliar with as a home canner,

such as PH testing.

 

Where do you get your ingredients? 

We attempt to purchase from local sources as much as possible.  For example, we use Apple Cider Vinegar from Woeber’s.

 

Where are the products canned?

Initially we produced our sliced candied jalapenos in Athens, Ohio at ACEnet.  ACEnet is a Food Incubator which housesboth a Licensed Commercial Kitchen and a Cannery.  By October 2015, we knew it was inevitable in order to sustain and grow that we would have to seek the services of a co-packer.   We interviewed numerous co-packers, and then found the perfect match for MSH in late December 2015.

 

What was the first store you sold in? How did that come about?

The first store we thought to stop at was the closest to our home and where we

thought we’d be a perfect fit but we were turned down. We then proceeded to Wine

Works Liquors where, funny enough, Mark and Debbie showed faith in this Mark and

Debbie and agreed right away to support a small local family business by placing us

on their shelves – the rest is history!

 

Do you have a favorite recipe?  

With this being grilling season, we are quite partial to incorporating MSH into our

burgers, brats and chicken.  We also consume a good amount of twice baked

potatoes with sour cream, butter; MSH relish and Colby cheese…man oh man!!!

 

Have customers shared any unique recipes they’ve tried and loved?

We met a great couple from the Urbana area and they shared that they often make

cream potatoes with MSH - sounds like a great fall comfort food.  Then there was the MAD SWEET HEAT Signature Pizza at the Mad River Farm Market a few weeks ago which was absolutely delicious.  Made with cream cheese, MSH relish, sausage, and onion topped with mozzarella cheese.   Numerous individuals have shared that they use MSH to make their grilled cheese sandwiches, fish and pulled pork tacos as well as macaroni and cheese. 

Yes, if you’re wondering there are some very adventurous folks making Margarita’s with the sliced candied jalapenos and using MSH relish in their Bloody Marys!  Now we just need someone to incorporate MSH into their “craft brew”… any takers?

What’s next for MAD SWEET HEAT? 

New Products?  YES! Unfortunately we can’t elaborate just yet…

we guarantee it will be worth the wait.

New Stores?  We are in negotiations with several out-of-state

distributors…stay tuned!     

 

Anything else you’d like to add?  

EAT MORE PEPPERS! 

 

Follow MAD SWEET HEAT on Facebook and Twitter