October 22 2020
Xốt Bé Long is a family-made chili sauce that originated from San Jose, CA. The owners have created a fresh, creamy, and garlicky vegan sauce that literally belongs on everything. With ingredients that include tomatoes, garlic, chili peppers, and additional family secrets, you can guarantee that this will elevate your food to the next level!
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us! We recently came across your sauce through Instagram and we were immediately intrigued! We love adding unique sauces to all of our food, so we knew we had to try this out ASAP. Let’s jump into several questions that we had for you!
For those who are unaware, can you explain what the name Xốt Bé Long translates to and how the name came about for your sauce?
“Bé Long” (pronounced “Beh Lowng”) in Vietnamese means “Young/Baby Dragon” and is my family name. As the creator of the sauce, we thought we would name it after me since my family would always ask, “Where is Xot be long?” during family get togethers, special occasions, and BBQ’s. “Bé Long” also represents the first and second generation Vietnamese-American who is fluent in Vietnamese, lives the Vietnamese way, but heavily influenced by San Jose’s diverse culture - the “ketchup with fried rice” generation.
Can you provide a brief introduction about the team’s background and what inspired the creation of this sauce?
I grew up in the East San Jose flats that predominantly consists of Hispanics and Asians, which meant I was always surrounded and influenced by these cultures. The constant exposure to these cultures and their cultural foods heavily influenced the taste of my sauce.
Sauces are not only crucial condiments in many Vietnamese dishes such as fish sauce, soy sauce, peanut sauce, etc but just as crucial in many Mexican dishes. I absolutely love sauces, especially ones that are creamy and/or spicy. This inspired me to create a sauce with a combination of both creamy and spicy that could essentially be eaten with everything!
When you mentioned that the sauce “truly belongs on everything”, what are some of the recommended food items that our viewers should try the sauce with?
I really enjoy and would recommend Xốt Bé Long to be eaten with breakfast (especially on eggs), tortilla chips, chicken wings, fried foods, and BBQ. The sauce can also be used as a light dressing on salads. Surprisingly, Xốt Bé Long pairs really well with Bun Bo Hue and other Vietnamese noodle soups as a dipping sauce. Of course, using the sauce on Mexican foods is a no-brainer, as well as American classics such as burgers and hotdogs!
Thus far, what has been the most effective method of marketing for you when it comes to brand awareness?
I would say the most effective methods of marketing for brand awareness are social media and by word of mouth.
Since 2020 has been quite a rollercoaster for many new businesses, what were the main hurdles that you had to overcome after launching Xốt Bé Long in April?
The 2 main hurdles the business continues to experience are audience reach and logistics essentially during this unprecedented time of COVID-19.
Growing up in San Jose, what were your favorite restaurants in the bay area?
- Bun Bo Hue An Nam
- Pho Ly
- Hue Restaurant
If you were to predict the next food craze or trend for 2021, what do you think it would be?
In San Jose, I would predict that the next food craze would be fusions of different cultural foods and foods that create nostalgia.
During your off hours outside of the business, what hobbies or activities do you like to pursue?
Aside from testing and creating foods, I love the outdoors and enjoy spending my time in nature and on the water such as hiking, boating, fishing, snowboarding, and camping.
Now that Xốt Bé Long has been available on the market for several months, what are the next big steps or goals that you would like to achieve?
As a business, I am trying to make our sauce an ecommerce product so that it can reach consumers in different parts of the world. I want to keep the fresh and preservative free model to ensure that the sauce upholds its quality.
For those who are interested in purchasing the sauce, what is the current process?
Currently, the sauce can be purchased on our website, www.xotbelong.com, through an order form. Once the order has been placed, we will contact you and coordinate for pick up.
Lastly, do you have any tips for the aspiring entrepreneurs who would one day like to create their own sauce or food-related business in general?
Teamwork makes the dream work! But we are also learning new things everyday. The learning never stops.
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