By Haley Viccaro
The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, N.Y.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Tina Coon is riding the hot sauce wave with the creation of her own sauce line appropriately called “Tina’s Wing’n It.” Right now she only sells in upstate New York but she hopes to expand across the nation.
A Rotterdam woman is bottling and selling her own sauce with dreams of taking it nationwide.
Tina Coons’ sauce, which now comes in original and hot flavors, is being sold at Bel Cibo on Jay Street and Sal’s Quality Market on Guilderland Avenue and will also be on the shelves in other local stores by next week.
“From a young child I’ve always been an entrepreneur,” she said. “I sold vegetables out of my garden at the age of 8. I started making jewelry boxes out of clamshells and selling them for $1 when I was 7. I used to make potholders too for $1.”
Coons, 53, an insurance agent, developed a recipe for the sauce when she owned two pizzerias in Rotterdam and Scotia, which she sold in 2004.
She said it was always her goal, since about 2000, to bottle and sell the sauce.
“I was always making this sauce after I sold the pizzeria and sold it to people who loved it and were used to it,” she said.
“I vowed it would at one point be on shelves. Three years ago we started bottling it and doing shows. That’s basically how I got my name out there.”
Coons has been bottling her sauce through Brooks’ House of BBQ in Oneonta with the help of her two grown children, Michael and Kayle Countermine.
Her sauce, called Tina’s Wing’n It, has been used in food made at Bel Cibo, across from Schenectady City Hall, over the last three years. Coons also does samplings in stores, like Sal’s Quality Market.
The sauce ranked among the most popular in Schenectady’s annual Wing Walk two years in a row, she said.
Coons said Bel Cibo owner Jeanette Massaro agreed to help market and sell the sauce because they’re childhood friends.
“Last year’s Wing Walk we weren’t in because Jeanette wasn’t open yet,” she said. “We grew up in Bellevue together so we knew each other for years. I grew up there and graduated from Mont Pleasant High School.”
Coons’ sauce soon will be available in several stores in the area including Sahr’s Poulty Farm on Curry Road, Capri Imports Italian Deli on Broadway, Avon Meat Market on Van Vranken Avenue, the Niskayuna Co-op on Nott Street, and Philips Hardware’s locations in Altamont, Colonie, Delmar, Schenectady, Voorheesville and Waterford.
She said the original and hot sauce would be available at these new locations by this coming weekend.
Coons said she plans to make additional flavors to bottle and sell in the future, including possibly a marinade and triple hot sauce.
“Basically now I’ll be my own distributor,” she said. “So I’m not only the creator. I would like to be throughout the United States. Right now Brooks’ will also help me on the larger scale with the bigger stores.”