When Mike Kurtz put the first drizzle of his homemade hot honey on a soppressata pie at Paulie Gee’s in Brooklyn, he had no idea that, 11 years later, it would be on the menu in more than 2,500 restaurants, including some of the top pizzerias in the country. The trend sees no signs of slowing down as chains and independents continue to seek innovative toppings that meet customers’ expectations for new and exciting flavors. The sweet-heat combination of Mike’s honey infused with chili peppers has proven to be just what they are looking for.
A post-oven drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey gives a new flavor dimension to any pie, but the pepperoni pairing has proven to be the winning combination for hundreds of pizzerias. From the Hellboy at Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop in Brooklyn, which outsells regular pepperoni slices two to one, to Ledo’s Hot Honey Pepperoni, &Pizza’s American Honey (which adds goat cheese and arugula) and Scarr’s Hot Boi with jalapenos for an extra kick, the common theme is pepperoni, due to the unique craveability of the sweet, spicy and salty combo.
Cup-and-char pepperoni is also key to achieving the ultimate balance of flavor, since the hot honey melts in the ‘roni cups and delivers what many customers have referred to as the “perfect bite.”
Mike’s Hot Honey is still based in Brooklyn, New York, and owes much of its success to the NYC pizza community, which embraced the product almost immediately. Today you can see the Mike’s Hot Honey trike, packed with samples and swag, posted up outside NYC pizzerias and restaurants, connecting with the people and community that helped to build the brand.
“Our product is really about bringing people together and surprising them with flavors and experiences that they weren’t expecting,” Kurtz says. “We want all of our customers and restaurant partners to know that we are here, we support them, and there are real people behind the bottle. This industry has served us well, so we want to pay it back in any way we can.”
Mike’s Hot Honey is available through foodservice distributors nationwide and DOT Foods.
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