Peppers Galore is housed in a pretty unassuming storefront on Harford Road. You've probably driven past it a thousand times and never noticed it. But inside, Peppers Galore is the promised land for chili-heads and barbeque enthusiasts alike.
Owner David Ortiz, who grew up in the area, opened his temple to the chili pepper back in August 2010 and ever since then, he's been building a loyal, local following.
"Growing up, I always wanted to own a business—I spent a lot of time researching, and this is great for this area," said Ortiz, who now lives in Harford County. "There's nothing like this around."
"I decided to open up here because I knew the area, and this had really high visibility—I get a lot of drive-by traffic," he said.
The store has a plethora of hot sauces, organized from the relatively mild top shelf to the hotter-than-you-know-where hot sauces on the bottom shelf—locally made stuff from Captain Thom's here in Baltimore right on down the line to top seller Dave's Insanity Sauce.
Ortiz' personal favorite? Pain is Good Habanero-Garlic hot sauce.
"I like a sauce with good flavor and some heat behind it and a sauce that's got some thickness," Ortiz said. "I don't really like the super-hot one-drop sauces."
But it doesn't stop there, Ortiz carries barbeque sauces, too, including Doomer's "Q" Sauce, a sauce made right in town and one of his top sellers.
"A lot of the reason I started this business was because hot sauce and grilling both have gotten really popular among young and old adults," Ortiz said.
Before he opened up the Harford Road location, Ortiz got his start operating an eBay store and working shows like the annual Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival at the Maryland State Fairgrounds and the Bel Air BBQ Bash.
"If I could add one thing to the neighborhood, that would be it. A barbeque festival would bring a lot of people to the area and the VFW would be perfect for it," Ortiz said.
Do you shop at Peppers Galore? What's your favorite hot sauce? Do you agree that a Parkville Barbeque Festival might be value added for neighborhood businesses? Tell us in the comments.