“Where the sauce meets the soul” is one of Gregg Wilson’s words to live by, and also the slogan of his “Only on the Vineyard” hot sauce. A native of the Bronx, New York, Mr. Wilson, also known as Mr. G, has been living on-Island for more than 22 years. He created Hip Hop Foods (the brand that encompasses his hot sauces and other upcoming products) when he realized that it was a local niche that needed to be filled.
When he was first starting out, it wasn’t unusual to see him selling his hot sauce on 125th Street in New York City, where he sold the sauces for 25 cents per ounce, and refilled empty bottles of wine, beer, and even coffee cups people brought him. Now considered a local by many, his sauces were first introduced on the Island by Lola’s, where the owners shared the sauce with their guests, and instantly people became addicted to it.
Currently Mr. G offers two sauces: Mr. G’s Presidential Batch Limited “Only on the Vineyard” hot sauce and Spicy Hip Hop Foods hot sauce.
The sauces are very different, with the limited-edition batch including carrot for a hint of sweetness to balance it all. They are both gluten-free, vegan-friendly, contain no sugar, and are very low on sodium. What they do have is tons of flavor — these aren’t sauces that will rip your taste buds out because of how hot they are. The balance of flavors is perfect; the habaneros (the only peppers he uses) shine through, along with the garlic, tomato, and even ginger in the sauces.
So why the Presidential limited-edition sauce? Well, Mr. G has also driven one of the only two civilian automobiles in the president’s motorcade, and it’s a homage to that job. While interviewing him for this story, we ran into part of the White House press corps, who greeted him with smiles and friendly greetings.
But the hot sauce is his true calling, and he is now dedicated full-time to the making of his sauces, which he produces in a variety of commercial kitchens on-Island.
Mr. G has dreams and aspirations that Hip Hop Foods will become a worldwide recognized brand, as he states that “hip-hop is a global entity, no longer a subculture but part of the mainstream society.” And if hip-hop includes dance, music, clothing, and more, why not have it sell foods as well?
You can find Mr. G’s hot sauces at Alley’s and Reliable Market, or contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to place a special order.