“Just by be being, you’re changing the world.”
That’s the huge takeaway from my talk with Dominic Sorenson, a guy who once ran a catering service called Sexy Chef. It was his answer to how and why people are so concerned with leaving a mark.
Now, Sorenson and his Scoville Farms name was recently picked up by Meijer for the sweet and spicy Everidae habanero sauce.
Going into these interviews, you never know who will blow your socks off or who will be awkward. Sorenson was definitely awesome.
A deep conversation with a friend once led them to the outcome that if you do no more than simply exist, by an amazing infinite equation, you’ve changed the world. Who knows how a word you say or a decision you make will change connections down the line.
But with his new gig, the 32-year-old Sorenson is doing something he wants to change world; the next sriracha sauce he hopes. And it’s good, it’s served at the Mitten Brewing Co., on cheese sticks, on a pizza, as condiment. (It literally would taste good on everything.)
The origin of the sauce is a lesson in humanity.
“Another man’s mistake is another man’s vision,” Sorenson explained.
A friend of his makes a habenero jam every year, but this particular year, it came out runny and gooey and undesirable; unless you were Sorenson. He saw the beauty and said, “This is something we can work with.”
Of course, it took him 17 recipe changes until he hit it “big” with this recipe, but everything came together in what he says was a series of fortunate events. (Start Garden has invested $25,000 into Scoville Farms, Meijer’s initial purchase was 350 cases.)
Prior to Scoville Farms, he tried a variety of things, from a $70,000 a year job at Sara Lee — boring — to Sexy Chef, which catered to women, trying things he felt would be interesting.
“Most things are a flash in a pan, then I lose interest, passion,” he said, speaking mostly to his entrepreneurial endeavors.
That Sorenson is so deeply involved in the food industry is interesting; he was the kid who only ate hot dogs, french fries and McNuggets.
But before he knew it, he was working at an Ann Arbor store called Merchant of Vino as a 6-foot-7 high schooler. He began experimenting, eating foods he’d never touch before.
And now, except for about four things, Sorenson will eat everything and has a life philosophy of trying things he’d never tried before and finding something positive about it.
We talked a little bit about money, and how it drives a lot of people, even their passions. Sorenson asked if I’ll ever lose my passion for writing if I do it for a living and for money.
It’s a possibility, that’s for sure. It’ll likely become chore, unless I find more things like this project to keep it fresh and fun for me.
The other thing that blew my mind in our conversation was I noticed that he and both Chris and Max, the owners of the Mitten Brewing Co., are in their early 30s, starting businesses that are off to wildly successful starts.
A.) It’s interesting that it often takes entrepreneurs that long to get started, or at least make a splash at it.
B.) Sorenson brought up that it’s a recent generational thing, as the generation before was about working 45 years at the same office or plant and retiring. And the generation before that was entrepreneurial. It repeats itself.
A funny side note:
I’m lucky I told him I would have a brown notebook in front of me. Something unique that most people wouldn’t have.
He said the first time he walked into The Sparrows, the coffee shop we met at, about a year ago, he was meeting someone who would have glasses and a laptop.
He walked in, and there were six guys at tables wearing glasses with laptops.