In Conversation with Carlos and Sandra Flores, Creators of No.7 Hot Sauce
Ever wanted to learn more about local food in Toronto? Now is your chance. I wanted to feature stories of local business owners, so I decided to learn more about Carlos and Sandra Flores, the owners of Cafe Con Leche Espresso Bar and No.7 Hot Sauce brand. For me, I find it fascinating to learn about small business owners and how they contribute to Toronto’s thriving economy.
So today, I’m sharing an interview I did with the husband and wife team about their No.7 hot sauce line. If you love hot sauce, I highly recommend their No.7 Habanero and Ghost pepper hot sauce. You can visit their cafe on Dupont St or their website to stock up before Christmas. They currently have a special promotion of any four sauces for $30.
Q: Can you tell me a bit about No. 7 Hot Sauce and how it came to be?
A: No. 7 is a husband and wife team that began with a simple jar of sauce sold out of the Cafe we own in the Junction Triangle neighbourhood. It started without any intention or even a name.
Q: How has the pandemic impacted your business?
A: The pandemic slowed sales a bit in the very beginning, but our business has since continued to sell and grow steadily.
Q: You have been in business for eight years. Why do you think your hot sauce is so popular?
A: We continue to make our sauce with excellence and with clean ingredients. It has the best balance of heat and flavour.
Q: Why do you think hot sauce is so important to Mexican culture?
A: It’s a part of everything we make and eat. It’s on taco stands, street food and upscale restaurants, too.
Q: What makes Mexican hot sauce so spicy?
A: Mexican hot sauce is typically spicy because habaneros are spicy and readily available. However, our culture embraces even the mildest of peppers like Pasilla and chipotle. In Mexican cuisine, it’s about the flavour and spices together with the hot peppers before it’s Hot and Spicy just for the sake of spicy.
Q: For those who like it hot, which No.7 hot sauce do you recommend that has the highest Scoville units?
A: Our Habanero and Ghost Pepper sauce is great for spicy lovers.
Q: What is different or special about your family hot sauce recipe?
A: It’s our recipe that we created out of a simple idea. We took spicy pickled veggies and turned them into a hot sauce. It was a crazy thought but it worked.
Q: Do you have any plans to expand your No. 7 line-up?
A: We are going to continue with our six mild to wild flavours and keep at it for now!