MAIDEN, NC – Most people asked would recommend having some sort of diploma or degree before starting a business. But that didn’t stop 13 year-old Nolan Bebber from starting his own hot sauce business from the comfort of his parent’s kitchen.
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“I was sitting in a restaurant and I picked up a bottle of hot sauce and I looked at the ingredients and it was pretty simple,” said Bebber. “I thought I could do better.”
Growing up glued to TV cooking shows, Nolan felt comfortable in the kitchen and in October he started selling his hot sauce at a local church event and around town. It quickly skyrocketed.
“It’s turned into more than a hobby now, it’s actually work,” said Nolan’s father, Michael Bebber.
After the hot sauce became so popular so quickly, they began dealing with the legalities of having a small business.
“We decided to make it more legitimate so now he does have a North Carolina State Incorporation,” said his father. He also has a website, a Facebook page, his own label, and trademark.
Nolan is a full-time, straight-A student who makes sure to take care of his chores and homework before getting to work on his hot sauce. He spends almost every afternoon in the kitchen preparing the sauce. He has created four different hot sauce flavors so far, all varying in different degrees of hot.
But he eventually wants to go beyond the hot sauce empire. “I’ve been thinking about barbeque sauce,” said Nolan.
The sauce has been shipped all over the world, including to Canada, Brazil, and Russia.
Michael Bebber said they never anticipated this kind of success. “It’s really skyrocketed to 245 orders of different quantities in 4 or 5 days,” he said.
The company started when Nolan’s father loaned him $56, drove him to the grocery store (Nolan isn’t old enough to drive yet), and let him pick out ingredients to make his sauce.
That $56 was just enough to get his company off the ground. They haven’t looked back since.