If you've wandered down Central Ave in Downtown Faribault, you may have noticed that at 405 Central Ave N, the windows have been papered over and there is the sound of work being done behind the papered doors and windows. What you might not know is what exactly is happening behind the paper. Let's just say downtown Faribault is about to get a little hotter. Cry Baby Craig's Hot Sauce is gearing up to open a front facing-store and bottling location at the site of the former B&B Sporting Goods building.

While I was taking some pictures of the front of the building, Craig's partner Sam caught me and offered to let me come in and look around. While I purposely did not take any photos of the inside, I will say the bottling area is going to be pretty cool. On top of the bottling equipment, there will be a test kitchen for Cry Baby Craig's to try out different sauces and flavor pairings. The other notable piece of my time spent talking to both Craig and Sam was the fact that the area many customers will see will only be the first few feet of the building.

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The front door will lead into a storefront where folks can purchase some Cry Baby Craig's sauce, and then behind the storefront will be the bottling line and test kitchen.

While the business isn't ready to open for customers just yet, there was optimism that it won't be too long before the public can come and purchase some of the award-winning hot sauce.

According to the Cry Baby Craig's website, Craig's sauces have won:

2017 Zest Fest Fiery Foods Challenge
1st Place - Latin Style: Hot/X-Hot
3rd Place - Overall Hot Sauce

2017 Scovie Awards
3rd Place - Louisiana Style

Cry Baby Craig's used to be located in Minneapolis, but has since closed that location and is in the process of moving all of the operations down to Faribault. You right also recognize the name of the hot sauce, as Craig Kaiser, Sam, and the company offered up the proceeds of a sauce created from hail-damaged Habenero peppers in Cannon Falls. Dana Jokela, owner and operator of Sogn Farms, had his crop of Habenero's pretty much destroyed by hail back in 2020, and Craig, who primarily buys Dana's peppers created a special sauce, aptly named "Hail Fire" to assist Dana in what he lost out on due to the hail.

I know that a check will be cut to Dana and Sogn Farms in the near future, and the number on that check is going to be...very surprising in a good way...

More on that once Craig and Sam have delivered the check to Dana, I promised I wouldn't say until the check was presented.

Welcome to town Craig and Sam, and the rest of the Cry Baby Craig staff, we look forward to you turning up the heat in downtown Faribault for years to come.

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