The Smiling Itinerant


What could happen when three drinking buddys start a hot sauce company?

A Little Bit About Us

The name of the company was taken from the traveling nature of pepper seeds. Their evolution into master stowaways in the bellies of birds, to us, sounded like a most pleasant journey. That is, of course, not to downplay the horror of those plummeting seedy voyagers that met cars instead of earth—a fact that just adds another delightful emotion to any self-respecting germinator, suspense!

The company itself was conceived upon the realization that we were not only good at making hot sauce, but that we loved doing it. The thrill of tasting a new concoction, no matter who made it, is akin to reading a book, listening to a song, or watching a movie for the first time. Will it intrigue? Will it break our hearts? Will it suck us in, or spit us out? These questions evoke chest-warming emotions we cannot get in the Insurance, Bar, and Information Technology industries—the careers we hope to one day leave for our new mistress, Capsaicin.

After many burned fingers, eyes, lungs, and the etceteras, the sauces literally started coming to life on paper. The characters developed branches like the plants they represented as we took an increasing number of breaks from our daily hum-drum to savor flavors. We knew it was time to make it official. So, we formed the LLC in 2016, scrounged the money to make our first batch, and started waving open bottles under people’s noses. We are now looking into wholesale for the individual bottles as well as gallon jugs for commercial kitchens. We have several other sauces in the works, most of which are all natural, all of whom are anxious to be tasted.

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Mark Medlin

Mark was born and raised in Nashville, TN. He spent some of his childhood in bakeries and kitchens, gleaning what he could from masters and mommas. After his college years, he found that he could make a living starting his own I.T. security business. But the urge to experience flavor was never far from his thoughts. So, he tried his hand at a regional Bull Burger competition and won. This sent him on to Vegas for the World Food Championships where he placed seventh in the burger category. Terminally ambitious, he again picked up his apron and joined our team.

Jeremy Shupe

Jeremy, also known as Moe Fury, is a mad scientist who is neither loony nor scientific. He was also born and raised in Nashville, TN. Contrary to popular belief, though, that does not mean that he and Medlin knew each other growing up. His parents emigrated from Florida to Tennessee in the late Sixties. He got his start in peppers one day while at a nursery with his girlfriend. She wanted to plant flowers, he, being a lover of hot food, saw nothing but pepper plants. Pretty soon, the novelty had gone and those plants were actually producing peppers, bags of them. Necessity, invention, and all of that brought about blenders, vinegar, and the end of the aforementioned relationship.

Christ Vergitz

Christ, our lord and bartender, left his home outside of Pittsburgh nearly twenty years ago to follow his then girlfriend to Nashville. He brought with him a love of spice and a nose for great barbecue. His father used to make stuffed habaneros, engraining the young Eagle Scout with a desire to get his hot pepper badge. Unfortunately, they don’t make one of those badges. So, Christ said, “And lo, I shall cast out all ye blandness and bring down apple cider vinegar from the sky!” In other words, he made a kick-ass barbecue sauce—and then his girlfriend left him, because of the whole talking like Moses thing. Don’t worry, though. He now has two fantastic little-pepper rug-rats of his own from his loving wife—who does not have as much of an issue with him going all Ancient Greeky.