The Spiceman Cometh: How Hot Sauce is Supporting Young Entrepreneurs

Posted in Featured Post on June 6th, 2012 by | One comment.

The following post is from Mike Bancroft, Executive Director of Co-op Sauce, a social enterprise that employs profit to produce social impact as one of Groupon Grassroot’s community partners.

Co-op Hot Sauce is celebrating its new home on Clark Street in Chicago with our Groupon Grassroots campaign by opening our gift-box cupboard to support one of Co-op Image’s youth programs, Chi-Town Chefs, and its youth-run Pop-Up Café. The Co-op family provides a safe space for youth in need to explore creative outlets in art and business. Through the café, youth will learn about the culinary arts and how to manage a business by coordinating production and service.

We began making Co-op Sauce with peppers grown in Co-op Image’s community gardens run by youth in its programs eight years ago. Co-op Image has worked with hundreds of youth over its nine-year run, and many of these students return to mentor youth in the very programs they participated in. Today we employ a number of former Chi-Town Chef participants in the Co-op Sauce kitchen, and we will play host to the youth led Pop-Up Café in our new space on Clark Street.

While Co-op Sauce normally donates half of its profit to Co-op Image’s youth programs, this week’s Father’s Day Groupon Grassroots campaign proceeds will go directly to Chi-Town Chef’s café. We are proud to support this tight-knit family of youth for Father’s Day and are happy to donate Father’s Day gift boxes to further the arts and entrepreneurship programs that Chi-Town Chefs exemplifies.



View the Social Enterprise Offer: Co-op Local Sauce for Chitown Chefs campaign.


  1. How do I use my groupon for your Hot-Sauce Gift Box? I purchased it to help you guys; but I also want to check it out for my “Guy” gifts this Christmas.

    Thank you in advance for your response.

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