It was a monumental week--we had our first production run this past Wednesday night! From 10pm to 2:30am! Oof. It took a few days to catch up on sleep from that, but it was satisfying to see all of our hard word start to come together that night. We made enough product to fulfill the Kickstarter incentives.
Our production was photographed by Clay Williams, who is very talented. I highly suggest taking a look at his excellent work. We were lucky to have him taking our picture. I'm a blinker, though, so hopefully there's at least one shot of me with my eyes open.
For the most part, everything went pretty smoothly... although there was a moment where I felt I'd gone back to square one. Back in February, I spend a huge amount of time fine tuning the recipes and the major issues were hotness (from crushed red chili peppers) and the wet consistency of the brown sugar in the sweet version of the spice. At this point I thought I'd gotten it perfected (in my kitchen), but not so (in the commercial kitchen), as we discovered in this production. The sweet blend was a lot hotter than I'd anticipated. During the recipe testing phase you spend a lot of time and attention to the sources of ingredients you're using, but when it's time to find wholesale sources, sometimes you have to compromise for various reasons--ease of delivery, pricing, availability... so, we ended up using a few different brands than the ones from our testing phase and saw the difference. Chili peppers are a hard ingredient--the level of hotness varies from brand to brand. It's not the end of the world, but just goes to show that the work you thought was done and dusted really is not.