James Vives was inspired by a family recipe and the chile pequin plants surrounding his South Texas home to start making BrushFire Farms’ spicy sweet jams, just for fun. It wasn’t until he joined the culinary business accelerator Break Fast & Launch in 2018, that he realized the product could reinvent the way people thought about jam.
“You cannot find another pepper like it,” he said, adding that its long culinary history began with the Incas. “I'm just really looking to provide people with an end-all, be-all condiment that can be versatile — from a cheese and cracker to any sort of protein on the grill or smoker. So far, we're pretty confident we're achieving that goal.”
Vives juggled jam-making with his independent contracting job for several months, working with local chefs and mentors to scale his production before finding a home in local stores like Smoke Shack, Cooper’s Meat Market and Larder at Hotel Emma.
Within the last six months, the brand has been recognized in a number of regional and international food competitions, including the Good Food Awards
. The Brushfire crew hopes to release a new line of glazes, with plans to move into a local kitchen and establish their official headquarters in San Antonio soon.
“My goal is to really build a Texas-made, Texas-sourced brand to go statewide,” “said Vives, who will enter several regional taste and small business competitions this year. “My thought process on momentum is: don’t stop; just keep going and keep growing.”
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