Tioga & Rizzo Farms - This Hot Sauce is No Joke!
by Joni Garcia
“This whole thing started as a joke.” That’s the first thing that Joe, owner and founder of Tioga and Rizzo Farms, said when I asked him about his business.
Joe started his business about 10 years ago and did not think he would end up selling his hot sauces full time. At that time, he started growing peppers with three plants for fun. When those three plants grew a whole wheelbarrow full of peppers, Joe decided to make hot sauce with the peppers to give away as joke because the peppers were SO hot. Interestingly, the hot sauce went over really well, so the following year he decided to grow some different kinds of peppers to make other sauces and see what happened. Turned out that people started asking him for his hot sauce and that was the start of something special.
Last year, Joe quit his full time gig to be able to devote more time to his own business and hasn’t looked back. He is a complete one man show and does everything with his own hands and heart (with a little help from family and friends), from the growing and weeding to cooking and bottling. Joe has grown Tioga and Rizzo into a thriving business and now makes a variety of hot sauces, mustards, jams, and jellies. All of the ingredients used in his recipes are locally sourced – either Joe grows them himself or they come from a nearby farm. And there are no pesticides or chemical based fertilizers used on any of his plants.
Stop by the Tioga and Rizzo booth at the Yardley Farmers’ Market every other week during the summer, and full-time during the winter market. Samples are always available, so you can determine what sauce is right for you. Heat levels range from sweet to WAY more than I can handle.