Julz's Creations, LLC is a woman owned and operated business out of Durham, North Carolina. I create small batch, artisan hot sauces, pickles, and bbq sauce utilizing North Carolina grown produce.
Do you really make everything?
I get this question at pop up markets all the time. Yes, I manufacture all of the hot sauces, bbq sauces, and pickles myself. I created and maintain the website, I create the label designs, I deal with all state and federal food business regulations, I ship or hand deliver wholesale orders, I attempt marketing, and I personally attend all pop up markets (if I had the budget to hire a brand ambassador, it would be someone a lot more professional looking than me, lol!). As you might guess, because it's just little ol' me, my product runs are very small batch. My husband is my muscle. I can't put up that 10 x 10 pop up canopy alone! He's also my chief taste tester.
Where do you get your produce? Is it organic?
I source produce primarily from the NC State Farmer's Market, Durham Farmer's Market, and South Durham Farmer's Market. I've had great success finding beautiful North Carolina grown hot peppers through Ronnie Moore's Fruits and Veggies, Honey Bee Hills Farm, and other farmers. I've used a variety of farmers for my pickling cucumbers and onions. I also buy North Carolina made molasses and honey (used in my hot sauces and bbq sauce). Some of the produce I use does happen to be certified organic, but this isn't something I seek out. I believe in buying local and supporting NC farmers. I am a member of GoToBeNC.
Are your products vegan?
My bread and butter and dill pickles, original hot sauce, and corpse reviver hot sauce are vegan. My other hot sauces contain honey. My bbq sauce contains anchovies (from the Worcestershire sauce).
Are your products gluten free?
My hot sauces, bread and butter pickles and dill pickles are gluten free. My BBQ sauce is not.
How hot is your hot sauce?
My hottest hot sauce is pretty freakin hot! The primary ingredient by weight in all of my hot sauces are the hot peppers themselves. I never add extract. It's challenging to try to gauge other people's tolerance level. At pop up events folks who taste test have wildly different reactions to even my original hot sauce (from "oh that's like a salsa" to "omg that lady's sauce is so hot!!"). I think even chileheads can appreciate the spice level of my sauces.
Where can I find your products beyond the website?
I sell at pop up markets around the Durham area and I'm also in some stores now! Check out the lists here.
I live in your area and want to buy something. Can I just pick it up instead of paying for shipping?
Yes! I don't have my own brick and mortar, but I can certainly arrange to meet you in the area. You can purchase on the website and just choose local pickup as your delivery option.
Do you ever do custom orders?
Yes! I can make a custom gift basket of any of my products. I also make a custom gift box of my hot sauces.
I can also make a 2 ounce or 1.7 ounce travel size of my hot sauces and bbq sauce with a label custom made just for you. These mini bottles are perfect wedding favors, birthday gifts, or swag for your conference attendees! At 2 ounces and less, they travel well and can be taken on the plane ride home. Contact me if you are interested!
The 1.7 ounce bottles with custom labels next to my usual 5 ounce bottle.
My name is Julie (Julz is my nickname). I am originally from the Midwest but have lived in Durham, NC since 2008 and love North Carolina. My background is in research and evaluation in criminal justice (I have my PhD in Social Psychology) so this whole food business thing is a bit off the rails from that. I enjoy working for myself, being creative, and being part of a community of small business entrepreneurs. Durham is very supportive and folks here love to buy local.
Last year at 2019's Pepperfest, I whipped up this recipe for buffalo hummus and it went over quite well!
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup tahini
4–8 tablespoons Julz's Creations Hot Sauce (pick your favorite, depending on your heat level).
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Keep refrigerated until use. Top with your choice of olive oil, thin sliced green onions, or crumbled blue cheese. Eat with tortilla chips or veggies.