Fat Baby Hot Sauce recognized with the MSU Product Center’s 2023 Value-Added Agricultural Product Award

Fat Baby’s farm-to-table hot sauce is made from hot peppers grown in Clare County, Michigan.

For decorative purposes.
Nate Mahren, co-owner of Fat Baby Hot Sauce, LLC, stands near pepper starter plants. Photo by Alan Pilkenton, MSU Extension.


Farm-to-table hot sauce by Fat Baby Hot Sauce, LLC was recognized as the 2023 winner of Michigan State University Extension’s Product Center Value-Added Agricultural Product Award. Nate Mehren and Terry Wolter, co-owners of the company, were presented with the award on behalf of the MSU Product Center by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director (MDARD), Tim Boring, Ph.D., during the Making It In Michigan Conference and Trade Show held on April 20, 2023, at the Lansing Center.

“Fat Baby Hot Sauce is a great example of what happens when entrepreneurship and Michigan diverse agriculture options combine,” said Boring. “Expanding opportunities for value-added products like Fat Baby Hot Sauce to get on store shelves helps make Michigan food and ag companies become a household name both here and around the nation.”

Mehren and Wolter are business partners with a passion for making hot sauce. They grow over 17 varieties of hot peppers on one acre of Nate’s 157-acre family farm in Clare County, Michigan. Fat Baby Hot Sauce, LLC was launched in January 2022. To date, most sales have taken place through live festivals and events, as well as social media promotion and through the company’s website where they direct ship.

Fat Baby Hot Sauce produces gourmet, small-batch products. In addition to the locally grown peppers, Fat Baby sources local ingredients such as honey, maple syrup, and spices to offer a true farm-to-bottle flavor and heat experience. Their hot sauce offers a variety of heat levels.

When asked about support from the MSU Product Center, Mehren stated, “The MSU Product Center was an absolutely fundamental source of knowledge and navigation as we moved through the first year of our existence. We can say with confidence that the act of start-up was, and continues to be, made easier with their assistance and counseling. We are elated to be honored with the Value-Added Award from the Product Center and MSU Extension for the Making It In Michigan event and we look forward to a continued relationship with our friends at the Product Center.”

“Michigan State University Extension and the MSU Product Center are thrilled to honor Fat Baby Hot Sauce, LLC with this year’s Value-Added Product Award,” said Mollie Woods, director of the MSU Product Center.

“Michigan's diverse agricultural production capacity contributes to our success as a leader in the production of value-added products made with local ingredients. Fat Baby’s farm-to-table hot sauce is an excellent example of Michigan’s ability to produce high-quality and unique value-added products,” commented Woods.

You can follow Fat Baby Hot Sauce’s journey on social media:

MSU Product Center

MSU Extension and the MSU Product Center assist entrepreneurs and businesses to develop products and services in the food and agriculture markets. Its team of experts consults with clients on a one-on-one basis, helping new entrepreneurs navigate from concept development to launch and beyond. The MSU Product Center also offers specialized services such as labeling, packaging, and nutritional analysis. If you are interested in business counseling from the MSU Product Center, please visit our website.

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