Who are you and what do you do?
I am Graham Heard and I am a small artisan hot sauce producer based in Horstead near Norwich. We – RocketShip Sauces – are actually located in the Broads National Park. We hand make a range of hot chilli sauces using fresh locally sourced ingredients wherever we possible. Sometimes the more exotic chillies are difficult to find so we have to look further afield.
How did you get started?
It was a chance conversation with a friend on the way home from a business meeting one day. We were talking about our plans for the weekend and my friend said he was going to try and make some hot sauce. We agreed we would both give it a go and the rest is history as they say. I refined the recipe a few times, tried it out on friends and family who encouraged me to try and sell it and my first customer was Brick Pizza in Norwich.
How did you come up with your name?
I used to play a game with my granddaughter Amelia where I’d count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and I’d lift her up into the air … we called in the Rocketship game. When I came to name the sauce it just sounded perfect, Rocketship Hot Sauce.
Tell us a little about your range
We have a range of sauces from mild through to very hot. Our Original Hot Sauce was the first sauce we made, and still seems to be the most popular. A base recipe of red peppers, onions and garlic with red habaneros to give it a real fiery kick. We’ve also got a mild mango and orange sauce called Solar which has a real subtle heat mix of chilli, ginger and garlic. At the other end of the scale we’ve Supernova, which is not for the faint hearted. It is a smoky mixture of reaper and chocolate habaneros, and is very hot. Most of our sauces are suitable vegans and vegetarians.
Do you have a tie up with a local farmshare?
We’ve been working with Norwich Farmshare over the last year, trialling some chilli growing at their farm in Trowse, we’re hoping we can work together in the future to have some of our very own Norfolk grown chillies to use in our sauces.
What do you use your sauces in – what dishes?
Our sauces are very versatile, they’re a bit firmer than other chilli sauces which makes them good as a condiment style sauce as well as being used in a recipe. Original is great with most meats, eggs and pasta dishes, Solar works well on salads, stir fry and fish, whilst Supernova goes great with cheese. someone wrote to me and said it’s perfect on sushi too!
Where can we buy your sauces?
Jarrold’s has all of our sauces available, it’s also available at various Norfolk-based delis, butchers and farm shops including Archers, Walsingham Farm Shop and the Norfolk Deli. We have an online shop at www.rocketshipsauces.co.uk, and it is available in Brick Pizza and Jive kitchen in Norwich.
Any future plans you can share with us?
We have some exciting plans, we’re just about to release a new sauce called RocketShip Comet, it’s a smoky BBQ sauce with a great chilli kick to it. We’re collaborating with Norfolk Raider Cider to use their cider vinegar in the recipe, so a great example of two local producers working together. We’re also working with Archers to look at producing a Rocketship sausage
How has Proudly Norfolk been able to help you?
I am originally from an IT background so when we first started PN provided us with some really good help and guidance which has been great. The team are mainly local producers themselves so have an extended network of people to help you. They helped us with advice on bottle suppliers, bar coding and trading standards requirements, all things I didn’t have a clue about.