It’s hot, hot, hot in La Pimentary’s offices right now. A Montreal hot sauce maker has launched its first product in France, unexpectedly resonating.
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“It’s amazing, but wow,” says Julien Frechette, the one-man show behind the company that was born in 2016.
Wow, because he was almost surprised by the request. “When you see 4,000 people coming to your site to buy a 148 ml jar of sauce at once, that’s impressive.”
The secret to kumquat crush sauce success in France? A certain Gurky, a Quebec YouTuber with over a million subscribers, is on the team.
Passionate about spice, he picked the ingredients with his father, who like him loved to roast his mouth over the fire. He also had his subscribers vote for his choice of kumquat, an unusual citrus fruit for hot sauce.
“We knew he was popular and he had a following in Europe, but it exceeded our expectations,” pinched Julien Fréchette himself.
He sold his first 3,500 pots in less than an hour when he launched last week. He has just sent a pallet – by boat – to France urgently because there is a waiting list of more than 500 names to get their hands on a bottle.
In the center is Jules, alias Gurky, surrounded by his father (left) and Julien Fréchette
Photo taken from La Pimentary website
A good start
La Pimenterie sells approximately 300,000 jars of hot sauce annually in Quebec and the United States. This destination for France does not represent a large volume. Above all, it is the beginning of something much bigger.
Because the collaboration with Gerky went so well, Julien Fréchette didn’t see why not to do it again.
“Thanks to Gurki I rediscovered the joy of telling stories,” says the 41-year-old former director, who has become an expert on peppers.
A 25-year-old YouTuber made a video on making “his” kumquat crush sauce. Published on his channel 10 days ago, it already has nearly 300,000 views.
He alerts his subscribers when a new product is launched.
“I wondered if it really works, the power of influencers. I no longer have any doubts,” laughs Julien Frechette.
He says Gurki is a good person. The entrepreneur shares enough values with the young web star to feel comfortable offering him a role as an ambassador for La Pimentary.
“His team is helping us to move into France. We are lucky to have met such a bold young man in marketing,” sums up the affable bearded man, expert in spices.