In December 2002, Eileen O’Hara made twelve jars of Habanero Pepper Jelly as a Christmas gift for her husband, Rick. He shared that gift with family and friends, who encouraged marketing the product. The family started out with craft fairs and pepper shows, where the Habanero Pepper Jelly sold like hot cakes! In June 2003, Eileen and eldest daughter, Julie, formed a women-owned limited liability corporation and named their pepper jelly business Brimstone Originals®.
The business’s first year was a whirlwind of cooking frenzies at a leased kitchen. Meanwhile, the team developed a second flavor, Jalapeño Pepper Jelly. When events began consuming too much time to continue packing the products themselves, the company contracted with a co-packer. When one of the company’s first orders came for thirty cases of Habanero Pepper Jelly to be shipped to Germany, it was time for a warehouse facility to handle logistics. During this time, the team developed a website, Eileen did several stints on HSN, and more pepper jelly flavors were developed including Cranberry Jalapeño, Pineapple Pepper, and Mango Habanero.
For nearly two decades, Brimstone Originals® Specialty Foods has continued to grow and thrive with Eileen as President and Julie as Vice President. “Pepper Head” Rick, the company’s designated event “roadie” and taste tester, is tops in sales. Eileen’s younger daughter, Amy, an Intellectual Property paralegal, keeps up with trademarks.
While the company continues to participate at events, sales are now primarily handled through distributors, who have placed the products in specialty Publix stores throughout the southeast, Earth Fare Markets/Florida, Lucky’s Markets/Florida, as well as countless specialty stores throughout the U. S. and the Islands. Distribution to more stores is in the works. Five Florida-based Costco warehouses currently carry the Cranberry Jalapeño Pepper Jelly in a 31-oz. jar soon to be replaced with the 31oz. Jalapeño Pepper Jelly.
While the company’s headquarters have relocated from Largo, Florida, to Gainesville, Georgia, the Mission Statement has not changed: Brimstone Originals® Specialty Foods is fully committed to bringing only the best products to its customers with a satisfaction guarantee.
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