Cork-born Paul Moore, got his first taste of hot sauce as a teenager growing up in Bishopstown. Today, he has one simple goal - to see a bottle of his own hot sauce on the kitchen table of every household in Ireland.
This dream grew from an instant love for the spicy condiment coupled with a curious mind and a desire to create something different. Unimpressed with many of the hot sauces on the shelves, Paul saw a gap in the market for an authentic product with the perfect balance of fresh flavour and heat, and so begun to experiment. “I started out mixing sauces in my mother’s kitchen with my brother. It was a bit of fun at first but we were determined to see what we could create,” explains Paul.
"If you have an idea, just give it a go. Don’t worry about failing because the failure is never really as bad as you think it’s going to be. And even if you do fail, you will most definitely learn something from it."
Rebel Chilli was born and with his first hot sauce in hand, Paul was travelling to farmers’ markets and food festivals across the country to showcase his new product. Initially, the business had no real commercial aims and Paul viewed it as more of a passion project. However, after discovering that people loved his hot sauce just as much as he did, Paul was determined to take all of the feedback on board and work even harder to develop the best one in Ireland.
After graduating with a degree in Business from University College Cork in 2014, Paul decided to embrace Rebel Chilli as a full time business and since then, has continued to go from strength to strength. The company now supplies some of the largest retailers in Ireland and beyond with its hot sauces and relishes, winning a number of awards including Gold at the Blas na hÉireann 2020 Irish Food Awards.
Paul reflects that when he walked into his first local grocery store to pitch his product, he couldn’t have imagined the success that was yet to come for his business. “I can still picture six years ago sitting in my van, giving myself a pep talk to go into the store. To me, it was the biggest thing I’d ever done. Everything happens as a result of the small things that you take for granted but those tiny steps all add up.”
For those who want to turn their passion project into a full-time career, Paul offers a simple piece of advice for taking that leap and forging your own path: “If you have an idea, just give it a go,” he says. “Don’t worry about failing because the failure is never really as bad as you think it’s going to be, it’s always worse in your head. And even if you do fail, you will most definitely learn something from it. The best thing to do is start small, start local, and go from there."