Scotch Boyz founders Neil Hudson, Drew Gray, Matthew Wallace and Kemar Swaby.
On April 23, Scotch Boyz products will be launched in over 250 Target stores across the United States.
The name of the game for Neil Hudson, co-founder and head of sales and marketing for the sauce and condiment,is expansion. The company’s crowd-pleasing sauces are a frequent seller on the online marketplace Amazon, earning the banner “Amazon’s Choice” – a label reserved for products the retailer deems to be “high quality and well priced.”
According to Hudson, Scotch Boyz sauces are blazing new trails for Jamaican-made products, as the first Jamaican product, to his knowledge, that isn’t being regulated to an international foods section or an immigrant market. “We’re putting Jamaican flavors and seasonings on the front page in a major way,” he noted.
Target is just one avenue Scotch Boyz is pursuing to get their sauces in people’s cabinets. Hudson and his co-founders, Drew Gray, Matthew Wallace and Kemar Swaby, are pursuing partnerships with various establishments in the United States to stock Scotch Boyz.
The Scotch Boyz brand started from humble beginnings. As the story goes… Four friends in their mid-twenties entered a BBQ competition in Jamaica to see who would be crowned the grill master. For their key ingredient they decided to use Jamaican scotch bonnet peppers, and named their team Scotch Boyz. Today, they have built that name into a global brand that manufactures up to 80,0000 units of sauces per day at their own facility on the island.
Not only is Scotch Boyz found across the US, but it’s also available in the UK, Germany, and Poland. Perhaps, it’s this simplicity that makes their sauces so beloved. Self-described as all “yaad boys” the founders keep their sauces simple and Jamaica close to their hearts, prioritizing Jamaican ingredients from Jamaican farmers – scallions, onions, and, of course, scotch bonnet peppers.
All four founders grew up in the parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica, a part of the island dedicated to tourism and agriculture. They saw firsthand the plight of the workers providing their country with basic sustenance and how dependent they were on not only demand but infrastructural support and favorable weather patterns. Of course, a healthy farming community means better crops which guarantees top-notch sauce.
This is why Jamaica is always at the forefront of consideration for the Scotch Boyz. Their charitable arm seeks out underfunded schools in their local community that would benefit from a financial injection. Their motto: One Sauce Buys One Pencil. It’s deeper than that of course, with a percentage of each sale going towards funding supplies and infrastructure for the schools that need it the most. One of their latest projects is funding the construction of a sheltered walkway at St Paul’s Primary in Westmoreland, so students can escape the sun or rain showers on their way to the bathroom, which was constructed separately from the classrooms.
For Scotch Boyz, peppers are the star of the show. “There’s nothing like a scotch bonnet pepper,” Hudson explained, with the kind of wistfulness reserved for talking about a favorite dish. “It’s a little sweet, and then the heat creeps in. It’s just an amazing pepper.” For the uninitiated, the best comparison point is probably the habanero. It’s a similar spice level but a lot more fruit-forward. It’s what makes the pepper one of the cornerstones of Jamaican cuisine.
It’s targeting that gap in the market that Hudson believes is one of the pillars of the rise of Scotch Boyz. In 2022, Scotch Boyz was one of three winners of the SheaMoisture Next Black Millionaire impact program. The initiative returned after a two-year hiatus and was done in collaboration with The New Voices Foundation providing the company with invaluable mentorship, a 100,000 dollar grant, distribution support, and a docuseries opportunity.