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Northern Ont. miner grows varieties of hot peppers to create signature hot sauces


One day, JR Marion, a miner from Timmins, Ont., bought what he thought was a sweet pepper plant from a local garden centre – but that plant was mislabeled, it was actually one of the hottest kinds of peppers eaten.

When JR Marion discovered a passion for hot peppers such as the Carolina Reaper, he turned that into a business venture for his whole family. (Lydia Chubak/CTV News Northern Ontario)“It turned out to be a ghost pepper plant," said Marion.

"The neighbour and I, we decided to crunch in that pepper and since that day we actually invented the Kaboom, ‘JR’s Kaboom,'" he said.

That was over a decade ago, he said, and one person's mistake has turned Marion's life into something some people might think is magical.

Some of his first taste testers were his coworkers at the mine.

“Guys were asking me ‘What are you eating your chips with?’ and I told them it’s a hot sauce I made," said Marion.

“'Hey, can I have some of that?' (they responded) So it started like that."

He now supplies more than 30 stores with his signature recipes and every one of his five-member family has a role in the process.

Daughter Savana is in grade 10 and she is the graphic artist who designed the labels.

“The first-ever logo was just like a pepper exploding," she said.

"The 'Fire Fever' has always been a thermostat because fever-you always measure your temperature," she said.

Miranda, his other daughter who is in grade 7, helps with whatever needs doing.

“I help bring the bottles to the place where we need to fill them," she said.

"I help put labels on bottles, I help put the caps on the bottles.”

“And Zach, my little guy, well Zach is my little forklift," said Marion.

"When it’s time to move boxes back and forth, well he moved all the boxes for us.”

Marion's wife who prefers to remain out of the spotlight is the bookkeeper.

The family hit a major milestone in the business last month producing their 10,000th bottle of hot sauce.

The family told CTV News that their goal is to turn this into a full-time business.

Marion said he is looking to partner with farmers to grow all the varieties of peppers he needs, such as the Carolina Reaper which requires 300 days to produce.

For people looking to add some spice to their lives, Marion is hosting a pepper-growing workshop next month at the Timmins Public Library.

For more information on JR's Hot Sauce and their products, visit their website. Top Stories

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