Notable Edibles

Detroit Inspires Street Eatzz Hot Sauce

By Janice Benson / Photography By John Sobczak | December 15, 2015
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313 foodie sauce from Street Eatzz

Sean O'Brien has always been passionate about the food scene in Detroit—and he has always been passionate about Detroit itself. Though his career started out in the automotive industry, he was inspired by what was going on with new restaurants in town, especially those that were seeking out good, simple ingredients for their menus.

“I do the grocery shopping in our house, and I read ingredient labels. There’s often so much garbage in there. I don’t want to feed that to my family or anybody’s family,” he says. “I wanted to open a restaurant or grocery that really focused on the ingredients. I was drawn into the food business from that perspective.”

In 2012, the opportunity came along to get into the hot sauce business called Street Eatzz, and he joined with a couple of partners to create a line of flavorful sauces inspired by the diverse ethnic cultures of the Detroit community. Their signature product was the 313 Foodie Sauce made with carrots, tomatoes, habanero peppers, apple cider vinegar, Michigan tart cherries and salt.

"It’s a fantastic sauce. It’s not crazy hot, but it has a lot more flavor. We strive to make good wholesome stuff with great complexities of flavor. It’s a great breakfast sauce.”

Their second product was the Detroit Smoke Foodie Sauce, which O’Brien describes as an Indo-Asian barbecue sauce. “It includes tamarind, which gives it a complex Worcestershire flavor. It’s a unique stand-out sauce.”

O’Brien loved the business so much that he decided to buy out his partners and make it a family business, along with his wife, Michelle, and their two children, Avery and Shea.

Sean O'Brien
Sean O'Brien

He also acquired Detroit Spice Company and its spice blends as a complement to his popular sauces. The blends include his Backyard Blends: Detroit Barbecue Rub, Detroit Jerk Seasoning and Detroit Steak Seasoning, and his Neighborhood Blends: Detroit Mexicantown Seasoning, Detroit Middle Eastern Seasoning and Detroit Greektown Seasoning.

“We use only the best and freshest ingredients possible. No additives, unnatural preservatives or caking agents,” he says. “I have a customer from out East who regularly orders big batches of our Greektown Seasoning. She tells me that she makes these fantastic pork chops that her family has to have every week!”

Street Eatzz products are available in 300 stores, including Whole Foods Markets, Busch’s, Westborn Markets, Kroger and over 25 restaurants. O’Brien also has some products in stores in Brooklyn and San Francisco. “People are rooting for us in Detroit,” he says. “It’s nice to have support from other parts of the country.”

O’Brien never tires of feedback from his customers. “One of my favorite things is talking to new people about our products and getting their reaction. I love getting feedback—both positive and negative—and hearing what people are interested in and how they’re using our products. The people part is the best part of the business.”

Find out more at Street Eatzz


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