UT grads bring hot sauce to Pecan Street Festival

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The Singh siblings didn’t expect to be in the business of hot sauce. But Omesh, Mukesh and Sunita Singh, all UT alumni, are now using their degrees to aid in the making and marketing of Scorpion Gourmet Hot Sauce, a company founded by their father.  

The Singh’s will be among the hundreds of vendors at the 33rd fall Pecan Street Festival. Taking place Saturday and Sunday, The Pecan Street Festival is held during one weekend each fall and spring and features local food, art, crafts and more than 60 Austin musicians.

After their father had been making hot sauce as a hobby for years, the family decided to put it on the market in 2012, and the company has been growing ever since.

“My siblings and I asked whether [our father] wanted to continue this hobby or actually bring it to market to share with everyone,” Mukesh said. “We refined the recipe, and before you know it we formed Scorpion Gourmet Hot Sauce and we were off.”

While on the festival circuit to promote their family’s hot sauce, the Singhs went to the spring Pecan Street Festival. Their success led them to become vendors again in the fall.

“The Pecan Street Festival has been one of the best shows we have done,” Sunita said. “We have done many shows in a variety of cities, but the market in Austin and at the Pecan Street Festival is unique, and we enjoy interacting with this market.”

Although the Singhs didn’t expect to use their degrees to help promote their family’s hot sauce, the siblings found that they were invaluable.

“As novice entrepreneurs, our experiences at UT have definitely shaped the success of our family business,” Sunita said. “For me, my business background from McCombs has facilitated my understanding in what it takes to run a business from accounting and finance to marketing.”

Omesh, who received his degree in pre-medicinal biology in 2005, said UT helped him to be a better entrepreneur.

“To this day, I attribute my success in my professional career and with Scorpion Gourmet to my experience at UT,” Omesh said. “Not only did UT nurture my entrepreneur abilities, but UT has armed me with the tools to be an effective communicator, networker and overall be able to navigate through the very competitive world of food product sales.”

Recently, Scorpion Gourmet was picked up by Central Market after a regional manager from the company tried it at ZestFest, a food festival that features hot and spicy dishes in Irving, Texas.

“[The regional manager’s] desire was to see this product on the shelves of all the Central Markets,” Omesh said. “Within a few weeks we were on all the shelves in Texas. We are happy to share this exciting news with our customers at the Pecan Street Festival.”

It still comes as a surprise to the Singhs that they are a part of the Pecan Street Festival.

“I remember coming to Pecan Street Festival when I was in school and seeing all the vendors, never thinking that I would once be here promoting my family’s hot sauce,” Sunita said. “Coming back to Austin always brings back a lot of memories and excitement.”