Hitchin chilli champs Capsicana boosted with £200,000 investment

Capsicana founder Ben Jackson. Picture: Danny Loo

Capsicana founder Ben Jackson. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Things are really hotting up for an award-winning Hitchin chilli company after a drive for investors brought in £200,000.

Capsicana founder Ben Jackson, centre, with members of his team. Picture: Capsicana Capsicana founder Ben Jackson, centre, with members of his team. Picture: Capsicana

Capsicana, founded by Hitchin’s ‘Chilli’ Ben Jackson in 2009, have their Latin American sauces sold in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Whole Foods, and have scooped numerous taste awards.

The supporters who have helped them smash their £200,000 crowdfunding target include John Stapleton, founder of the New Covent Garden Soup Co and toddler food brand Little Dish.

Ben, who quit his job as a consultant to follow his dream, said he was thrilled to have gained such backing.

“I’m absolutely delighted we’ve reached our crowdfunding target and that so many new investors have now become part of the Capsicana team,” he said.

Capsicana founder Ben Jackson. Picture: Capsicana Capsicana founder Ben Jackson. Picture: Capsicana

“It was particularly pleasing to see so many small investors, who are real fans of our products, come on board. It’s the biggest compliment imaginable and without them we’d never have reached our goal.

“Additionally, having industry legend John Stapleton invest is a real vote of confidence for both our products and our future plans.”

Bancroft-based Capsicana currently has four chilli sauces, infused with Cuban lime, Brazilian coconut, Mexican honey and Peruvian lemon – but the new investment means there will soon be six new products.

“Things are really motoring at the moment – 2017 was an amazing year for us,” he said.

“We have big ambitions, and we fully expect Capsicana to become a household name.

“This additional investment will help us bring six spectacular new products to market, which we’ll be taking to retailers in the next few weeks.”

Ben was inspired to create Capsicana by his love of travel and cooking, rooted in memories of travelling around Texas with his father in the late 1990s.

Visiting friends in cities like Austin and San Antonio that boast large Mexican communities, Ben first saw proper Mexican food – and it soon became his cuisine of choice, whether out for dinner or just on the side of the road.

He told the Comet last year: “Everything about it grabs me – most particularly all the delicious varieties of chillies. Chillies are about so much more than just heat.”

To find out more, have a look at capsicana.co.uk.

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