Hot sauce is perhaps nature’s greatest condiment, able to provide kick and excitement to the blandest meals and make even crappy things like vegetables taste good. People love it to the point where there’s a whole hot sauce trade show in Greenpoint. So it makes sense then, that this year is also seeing the opening of a whole store in Greenpoint devoted to nothing but hot sauce, complete with a hot sauce tasting room and sommelier who’ll pick out the perfect flavor blast for you. Hey, why not, we’ve already got a mayonnaise store.
Heatonist, Greenpoint’s only all-hot sauce store, is the dream of Noah Chaimberg, who talked with Greenpointers about his plans for the brick-and-mortar salute to the spicier side of life. Heatonist already exists as a curated, mail order hot sauce service with a mission to bring people the best hot sauce they can find, but Chaimberg told Greenpointers that he’d always dreamed of having a physical location for his hot sauce empire. To that end, he found a space at the end of 2014 and launched a Kickstarter to make it happen. At this point, the Kickstarter is beyond fully funded, so the doors to the store will open on April 18.
While wandering the hot, spicy shelves at Heatonist, Chaimberg says that you’ll be able to find 75 different varieties of hot sauce, and eventually 150 if he makes his heat-filled dreams come true. About that tasting room and sommelier though. Chaimberg said he’s looking to get away from the “macho packaging and competitive boasts of outrageous heat levels” that are part of hot sauce culture and move more towards appreciating the flavors. So to that end, the front half of Heatonist will be a tasting room, with sommelier’s to help guide customers on their hot sauce journey of discovery and find the spice that’s right for them. No word yet on whether Heatonist will be doing some outside hiring, but just in case, practice saying things like “Well yes, if you want a more pepper-based kick, I’d recommend going with the ’78 Tabasco, it’s divine,” in as snooty an accent as you can muster.