Frankie Martinez started a homemade hot sauce business at age nine

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (WDBJ) – A 9-year-old in Halifax County has his own business and is really starting to catch fire.

Dragon’s Breath, AC Free and Smooth Heat. These are just three of the hot sauces you can get from Frankie’s Spicy Farm.

Frankie Martinez launched the brand in 2021. His passion for hot sauce was born by accident.

“I have epilepsy, so I was in the hospital at the time,” Frankie Martinez said. “My dad and I ordered some chips, but they forgot the ketchup.”

His father went back to get ketchup, but accidentally brought him back hot sauce.

“My mouth was burning when I tried it because it was the first time I tried it. So, from there I thought the hot sauce was not bad. I kind of wanted to try and start my own business,” Martinez added.

Martinez hopes more kids will start liking his hot sauce after trying it.

He currently has five different flavors of hot sauce. “Kids Play” was the mildest, while “Blowtorch” was the hottest. He came up with the name of his hottest hot sauce with the help of some customers at the Halifax Pizza Festival.

“We came up with the fifth one, and it’s actually sold out. We don’t actually have a name for it. So, we got our people to vote for it, and Blowtorch won. So this will be our newest hot sauce,” Martin Ness said.

While sometimes his product names come from the community, the ingredients are sourced from Martinez’s backyard. There, you’ll find the spices and peppers he uses to make his fiery sauce.

“We just plant the pepper seeds and water them every day until they grow. Then, we get the peppers, we dehydrate them, and we cook them and add new recipes,” Martinez explained.

He got some help from his parents in the kitchen, but the recipes themselves were created as he made them.

“I mostly come up with them. My mom mostly cooks because I’m not old enough to cook all the meals. Sometimes I’m like, ‘Oh, I think there are too many onions,’ or ‘I need a little spice here. “So, I told her what to do. She was my manager’s child,” Martinez added.

The young entrepreneur skipped two grades with impressive grades. The SOVA Innovation Center also believed in his mission and allowed him to take college courses that would help him transform his business into an LLC.

Frankie’s Spicy Farm hot sauce can be ordered through his Facebook page.

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