In the heart of Madison, Sandra Morris and her mother, Ernestine, have crafted a culinary masterpiece known as Ernie’s Kick Sauces. Born from family recipes brought from Gabon in central Africa, the sauces blends tradition with innovation, paying homage to the love for peppers that makes life feel alive in Africa.
Launched in 2019, Ernie’s Kick Sauces quickly became a sensation, earning praise during Black Restaurant Week. Sandra’s eyes light up as she describes the versatile sauces that pairs perfectly with eggs, Bloody Marys, tacos, rice, and barbecue. The sauces, a modification of a generations-old family recipe, fills the void in meals, providing the elusive “je ne sais quoi.”
The sauces quirky name, Ernie’s Kick Sauces, prompts questions about who Ernie really is. Sandra, with a hearty laugh, clarifies that Ernie is not a sugar daddy but rather her mother’s nickname, short for Ernestine. It was Ernestine who urged Sandra to find her passion, pushing her to discover her purpose beyond aimless wandering.
Every other Sunday, mother and daughter gather at Feed Kitchens on Madison’s north side to craft their beloved sauces. Sandra, also an executive assistant, juggles her day job with her commitment to Ernie’s Kick Sauces. She sets up shop at the Hilldale Farmers Market twice a week, offering samples that captivate taste buds with a blend of tortilla chips, couscous, and the irresistible kick sauces.
Despite her success, Sandra dreams of expanding her business. Black Restaurant Week and support from the local Black chamber are vital steps toward achieving this goal. Sandra envisions Ernie’s Kick Sauces reaching beyond Dane County, becoming a nationwide sensation fueled by love for the people and their love for the sauces.
In the meantime, Ernie’s Kick Sauces is available at various locations in Dane County, including the Hilldale Farmers Market, Metcalfe’s, Brennan’s, Willy Street Co-op, and Orange Tree Imports. Sandra Morris continues to pour her passion into each bottle, infusing every drop with the magic that transforms ordinary meals into extraordinary experiences.