ALBANY, N.Y. — A new kind of condiment is hitting the shelves of stores throughout the Capital Region and beyond.
Hot Crispy Oil, a new Albany-based company, is quickly making a splash in the specialty food market with its one of a kind product.
Made with a unique recipe of blended extra virgin olive oil, fresh fried garlic, shallots, and chili peppers, Hot Crispy Oil’s combination of heat and flavor is proving popular with fans from near and far.
Since Hot Crispy Oil’s launch over the summer, the product has found its way into dozens of stores throughout the area, and it's being shipped to customers all around the country.
Consumers have used the oil in all types of cuisine, including on foods like pizza, pasta, bread, eggs, salads, and more.
A versatile condiment, Hot Crispy Oil can serve as a dipping sauce, a dressing, or as an ingredient while cooking.
Hot Crispy Oil is hand-crafted in small batches and is sold in six-ounce jars.
In addition to the original flavor, which has a mild heat, Hot Crispy Oil recently rolled out an “Extra Hot” version of its signature product.
Hot Crispy Oil was founded by co-owners John Trimble, who is known for managing his family’s restaurant La Serre in downtown Albany, and his girlfriend Maura Kelly, a Saratoga Springs native.
The Hot Crispy Oil crew also includes general partner Mike Crisafulli, a local developer, and creative director Nick Treffiletti.
Trimble and Kelly started tinkering with the Hot Crispy Oil recipe in March, around the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this time, the pair personally discovered how the oil can work in so many different ways.
They shared it with family and friends to an overwhelmingly positive response, and the word about this tasty new condiment began to spread.
As more and more people were asking for the oil, Trimble decided to expand the endeavor beyond his home kitchen and turn it into a new business.
The company officially launched in July, shortly after La Serre announced that its temporary closure would become permanent.
With an empty commercial kitchen available, the longtime restaurant transformed into the Hot Crispy Oil headquarters.
Trimble and his team currently make, package, and label the product at the former restaurant.
They even source their jars from Burch Bottle & Packaging in Waterford and labels from Greenbush Tape & Label, Inc. in Albany.
“It’s really a local product,” Trimble said. “We try to keep everything local.”
Hot Crispy Oil's first retail partner was Roma Foods Importing Company, which has locations in Saratoga Springs and Latham.
Since then, several Saratoga County spots like Fat Paulie’s Delicatessen, Primal Your Local Butcher, Healthy Living Market, Darling Doughnuts, Four Seasons Natural Foods Halfmoon Sandwich & Salad Shoppe and Hatchet Hardware of Waterford have all started keeping Hot Crispy Oil in stock.
In Rensselaer County, Hatchet Hardware of Troy and Brunswick both carry it as well as
Pellegrino Importing in Rensselaer and, across the river in Albany County, The Local in Cohoes.
Along with the roughly 30 retailers that now offer Hot Crispy Oil in stores, Trimble has been talking with some larger chains about possibly carrying the product.
“Now we're at a point where retailers are reaching out to us about carrying it, which is exciting,” Trimble said. “We’re getting some pretty cool inquiries and just wonderful feedback.”
Furthermore, eateries like Fat Paulie’s, Tipsy Moose, and Delmar Marketplace have all included Hot Crispy Oil in items on their menu
Meanwhile, lots of home chefs buying this product are getting creative in finding new uses for Hot Crispy Oil.
“It’s something that we hope people could just use out on their counters and just use for really anything they wanted to,” Trimble said, “and that’s kind of what we’ve seen with the feedback.We’ve got over 3,000 followers on social media in just eight or nine weeks and they tag us how they’re using the product and we see different things every day.
"Literally, we’ve seen people put it on ice cream. I’ve seen people put it on hot dogs. Anything that I never thought of, all of a sudden we started to see, and it's’ like ‘Wow!’”
Looking ahead, Hot Crispy Oil aims to and expand the company’s customer base.
“As much as we love that it’s a local product. We love that it’s caught a lot of fire here and we have some brand and name recognition, the idea is to also move from this area. Which we are, we ship - but we’re hoping to really be on shelves throughout the country at some point.”
The company also plans to expand its product line in the future, Trimble said, mentioning the idea of a Hot Crispy Mayonnaise.
A subscription service is in the works too, Trimble shared.
When Trimble and Kelly began playing around in the kitchen during the COVID-19 shutdown, they never imagined they’d have such a popular product and a flourishing company just a few months later, Trimble said. “It’s taken off a lot faster than anyone anticipated.”
More information about Hot Crispy Oil is available online at hotcrispyoil.com, where customers can order the products online for delivery or identify a local retailer using the site’s store locator.
Hot Crispy Oil is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.