I, being a craft beer lover, follow Bent River Brewing Company on the socials.  I saw a post recently that caught my eye regarding a local business taking over Bent's 'Habanero Ketchup" production for their grill side of the bar & grill.

I'm a fan of small businesses (especially those here in the Quad Cities) and I wanted to learn more about Ground Pounder Hot Sauce.  So, I reached out to Hot Sauce Entrepreneur and Army Veteran, Aaron Bailey, and asked him a few questions about his business.

Inspiration Strikes

His love for hot sauce began when he was in the Army and had to rely on the small bottles of Tabasco sauce that came with his MREs. Over the years, he developed a passion for collecting different sauces and experimenting with different flavors. The COVID-19 pandemic provided the perfect opportunity for him to turn his hobby into a business.

Aaron has a close relationship with Bent River.  He currently serves as a manager and creates their Bloody Mary hot sauce along with the house inferno sauce for their wings.  So, it makes sense that he recently took over the production of their habanero ketchup.

Ground Pounder Hot Sauce
Ground Pounder Hot Sauce

Specialty and Niche

Aaron says his sauces are not your average hot sauce, they are packed with flavor and balanced heat. His sauces are made with care and the result is a product that is often described as having a balance of heat and flavor.

Ground Pounder Hot Sauces revolves around growing, fermenting, processing, and bottling hot peppers to create unique and flavorful hot sauces. With a focus on small-batch ferments, Aaron's sauces stand out for their quality and unique flavor profiles.

Ground Pounder Hot Sauce
Ground Pounder Hot Sauce

Future goals and Marketing

Aaron's goal is to eventually see his business in grocery stores and expand his reach to a wider audience. In the meantime, he primarily uses social media and word-of-mouth to market his business. He enjoys getting people to try his sauces, and often sets up samples at vendor fairs. He also uses photography to showcase his product in new and interesting ways.

  • Vampire Killer: a habanero-based sauce with tons of garlic (mixed into any Asian cuisine for an extra garlicky burn)
  • Honey Bear Habanero: another habanero-based sauce with lots of honey
  • Lick the Sun: Around 1 million Scoville, made with a lot of the hottest peppers out there (Drip a little on your nachos)
  • Smok’n Chipotle: a mellower Chipotle-based sauce (drizzled over a bowl of chili for a little smokey kick)
  • Bailey’s Premium Green: Jalapeno, roasted garlic, and lime juice (great on tacos or your eggs)

Ground Pounder Hot Sauce is just one of the many small businesses in the Quad Cities area that would love your support.

The 30 Best Quad Cities Restaurants To Cure Your Hangover

The morning after a good party can be rough. Nothing can cure a bad hangover like some good food. Here are the places you said are the best cure a Quad Cities hangover.

Barbecue, Pizza, & Beer-Illinois' Route 84 has Some Hidden Gems This Time of Year

Road trips aren't complete until you've stopped into some hidden gems along the way.


More From 97X