Synergy is a bit of an overused buzzword in the business community. In the case of Scoville Farms,
however, it is probably the most accurate way to describe how a lone entrepreneur engaged various community organizations to launch a new business.
Scoville Farms, founded early in 2012, is a "pepper-centric" food manufacturer dedicated to making a variety of dips, sauces, salsas, and spreads from peppers. The man in charge is Dominic Sorenson, a 2005 Biology graduate from GVSU who spent the last seven years working in local food manufacturing before deciding to launch Scoville Farms. The Scoville scale is a measurement of heat in peppers, hence the name.
The first product launched by Scoville is called Everidae Sauce. The story begins in October of 2011. "My friend, who works for Roses, was describing a recent batch of habanero jelly he was making. Something happened during the thickening process; it did not thicken. I tried it, and It reminded me of a Thai chile sauce."
Seventeen revisions later, Sorenson had his product.
The synergy driving this venture is evident in how Sorenson has leveraged several local institutions to get his product made and on store shelves. Early product development consultation came from the MSU Product Center. The manufacturing and consultation for Scoville's Everidae Sauce comes from Uptown Kitchen
. Recent funding for marketing was received from Start Garden
. Distribution gets a boost from Meijer, as the sauce was selected to be part of their "buy Michigan" initiative, which will place the Everidae Sauce in 100 of their stores.
Working out of Uptown Kitchen, Sorenson is the lone employee and is involved in every aspect of hand-making, testing, and bottling the shelf stable sauce. To learn more about Scoville Farms, including its mythological origins, click here.
You can also follow Scoville's progress on Facebook here.
Source: Dominic Sorenson, Scoville Farms
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor