Q & A with Local vendor, FIREWALKER Original Hot Sauce

Corner Kitchen, and Chestnut, partner with many local farmers and vendors. Featuring local products like, jams, honey, mustard, meats, milk, cream, cheeses, eggs, hot sauces and so much more is incredibly important to us. Why? Because it stimulates our local economy and it tastes GREAT!

This month we are showcasing FIREWALKER Hot Sauce Company. Here’s what we buy from them: FIREWALKER Original Hot Sauce (5/10 heat).

A message from the Owner, Franco Donohue and what we buy from FIREWALKER Hot Sauce Company…

1. Give us the “origin story” for your operation

I grew up loving spicy foods and as I got older I began to search for a hot sauce with the perfect combination of heat and flavor. Thinking back, it all started in the late 80’s when only 1 Professional Football game was on TV at a time and you had to go to a sports bar to actually see your team win. My Dad, older Brother and I would go watch the games and, of course, eat hot wings (Sometimes my Mom would even join in the fun).

I can remember being 8 or 9 years old and ordering Mild wings then next week Medium, Hot and so on. Good Football and Great Food have been my passion for years; but, as I got older I realized that there was a real problem with most of the hot sauces I would buy at the store.

After years of trying countless hot sauces, too often I would find the sauces were either barely hot enough to get my endorphins going or they would be all heat and devoid of flavor.

So, instead of settling, I decided to create what I had been craving. I made batches of various hot sauces for nearly 10 years in a small apartment kitchen in Asheville, NC to give to friends and family before I started FIREWALKER Hot Sauce Company in 2012. We now produce FIREWALKER commercially to distribute to restaurants, grocery, and other locations across the southeast.

2. What is your list of products (within reason…)

FIREWALKER currently commercially produces 2 Flavors of Hot Sauce: FIREWALKER Original Hot Sauce (5/10 heat) and FIREWALKER Running with the Reaper XTRA Hot Sauce (8/10 heat)

3. Where is your distribution range? Asheville? Regional?

FIREWALKER Can be found in over 150 Restaurants and Stores in Asheville and the surrounding radius of Southern VA, Eastern TN, Northern GA, Northern SC and as far as the coast here in North Carolina.

4. Who are the important people in your organization?

Every team member here at FIREWALKER plays a vital role as we are a tight bunch of really enthusiastic folks from those that grow our Habaneros and Carolina Reapers on 3 owned farms to our flavor experts in hand crafting each batch of hot sauce and of course sales, marketing and delivery distribution play large roles in day to day operations.

5. Any anecdotes about your crew?

Every Batch of FIREWALKER we make by hand and that of course means you have to taste every batch too. From making sure the fresh Habaneros and Carolina Reapers are the proper spiciness level, to tasting a piping hot 200 degrees straight from the 80 gallon kettle batch of FIREWALKER…. the crew always gets really excited around tasting times and talk about how much they are going to eat each time…. never a dull moment when someone decides to eat the entirety of the hottest pepper in the world, the Carolina Reaper with 5 hours left in the production day….

6. What’s next for you and your company?

We are always working on ways to keep thing fresh and flavorful including expanding our pepper plant production in 2018 on our 3 farms. We will also be working with some new grocery stores this year to deliver FIREWALKER into more of the surrounding states as well as in new locations in NC….. might there also be new FIREWALKER creations coming soon….????

Corner Kitchen is proud to be part of Asheville's vibrant food scene and...don't forget that parking is free in the village (and very abundant during dinner service)!

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
Asheville Independent Restaurants Association


3 Boston Way
Historic Biltmore Village
Asheville, NC 28803
(828) 274-2439
Open Daily
Brunch: 9:30 - 2:30
Dinner: 5pm until...

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