Dear friends, family, colleagues and customers,
This August marks the 10th anniversary of Mike’s Hot Honey,10 years producing, packing and distributing a single product, our signature chili pepper infused honey. Our honey, and the food it’s drizzled on, has always served as a vehicle for connecting people. And it’s those people and their friendships who have made the experience of building and growing this brand so special and rewarding.
The first five years of the business, I was a one man operation, personally filling, capping, labeling, selling, shipping and delivering the product to customers. After producing bottles overnight in the back of Paulie Gee’s pizzeria in Greenpoint, I would pack cases of hot honey into my ‘95 Geo Prizm and drive around NYC making deliveries to our early restaurant and retail partners. The car was so weighed down that I’d constantly bottom out, traversing the city’s pothole-riddled streets. Cases were hand-delivered and genuine connections were made.
Business was a slow build at first, but many of the relationships developed with our earliest customers ended up becoming some of the most impactful ones for the business in the long run. The honey gave me an excuse to meet people I’d otherwise probably never meet and go places I’d likely never have a reason to visit. It opened doors to new friendships and always seemed to surprise and delight the folks who tasted it for the first time.
Countless friends and family members chipped in to help in those early years, a testament to the power of commitment and community. Their support helped spread the word about the product, built momentum and kept me motivated to keep on pushing.
Five years into the business, I serendipitously reconnected with my old college friend Matt Beaton, who joined Mike’s Hot Honey and became my business partner, doubling the size of our team. Matt’s business experience and work ethic helped lay the foundation for the expansion of distribution and growth of the company and I quickly learned that it was a lot more fun to grow a business with a friend than to do it alone.
10 years in, we’ve grown to a team of 15 wonderful people and distribute Mike’s Hot Honey nationwide to retailers and restaurants. The independent pizzerias, restaurants and retailers who were our earliest adopters, remain the backbone of our business and, as we all navigate the uncertainty of a global pandemic, I urge you to support these local businesses.
NYC is our home and the energy of the city and its people have been at the heart of Mike’s Hot Honey since day one. We’re grateful for the support of our New York community, the restaurants and retailers who first gave us a shot, the chef’s whose MHH creations continue to inspire us and the other local businesses who have shared this journey with us. 2020 has turned out to be our most challenging year yet, but together with our community we’ll adjust, improvise, and support each other as best we can to make it through this difficult time.
Thank you all for your continued love and support. Here’s to many more years of drizzling!
Mike Kurtz, Founder
Mike’s Hot Honey
To celebrate our 10th anniversary we enlisted the talent of New York-based illustrator Naomi Otsu to make a limited edition t-shirt commemorating the brand's history over the past decade. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this t-shirt were donated to Food Bank For New York City.