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If you’ve never been to Appleton, Wisconsin, take our word for it – it’s a veritable hotbed of saucetastic goings-on. Okay, not really. But way back in 1989, it was the birthplace of a future hot sauce superpower. That’s the year Craig and Tanya Migawa opened the original Pepper Palace as small kiosk in the heart of Appleton's Fox River Mall. Right out of the gate, the business was a hit – which led to two inline retail locations that operated successfully in Wisconsin for eight years. But then came the siren call of the mountains…
After a family trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, at the edge of Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Craig and Tanya decided to take the leap. In 1997, they cashed in their 401(k)s, moved to Gatlinburg, and opened their first full time location in a small storefront on the outskirts of town. Over the next 2 years, they hopped between better, larger locations until arriving at their current home in Gatlinburg’s legendary Mountain Mall – where they occupy a 3,000 square foot flavor-packed paradise that represents the largest spice-themed specialty retail location on planet earth.
(It’s worth noting that they launched their online presence, PepperPalace.com, that same year – 1999. You younger spice lovers can Google Y2K and see what a gutsy move that was.)
The next few years were spent simply trying to keep up with demand in what became one of Gatlinburg’s busiest retail shops. In 2008, they opened a second location in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, followed by new stores in Saint Augustine, Florida, Branson, Missouri, and a second Gatlinburg location.Eager to capitalize on this success, but determined to maintain the quality for which they were known, they opened their own dedicated kitchen facility in 2012 to bring all production in-house. That’s when the floodgates really opened. That same year saw new stores opening in New Orleans, Chicago, Charleston, Panama City Beach, Sarasota, and Minnesota. Not to mention their first venture onto foreign soil with a location on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.Today, Pepper Palace has over 160 locations across the U.S. and Canada – each one serving as a beacon for flavor-seeking pilgrims far and wide. Despite their growth, the brand’s mission hasn’t changed one bit since those early days in Appleton: to bring flavor and spice to food and to life – a mission they happily undertake by passionately hand-crafting products in small batches, then sharing them with like-minded flavor fanatics.
We believe in quality over quantity. No giant kettles, machinery or steam injecting nonsense around here.
We don't "manufacture" our delicious products. We craft each one, painstakingly, by hand.
Fresh, natural ingredients make all the difference. That's why they're the only ingredients we use.
It ain't braggin' if you can do it. Nobody else in our industry has won more awards. End of story.