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She’s a HOT SHOT! …and Her Datil Peppers Have a Pedigree
For 30+ years, Sherry Stoppelbein has been feeding St. Augustine, Florida ~ with three restaurants, a bakery and an award-winning hot sauce company. They’re all in one HOT location situated in the center of the historic district of America’s oldest city. Hot Shot Bakery & Café isn’t really about Stoppelbein (according to Stoppelbein) but about the made-from-scratch food she whips up for breakfast, lunch, catering, signature themed cakes; she’s all about pleasing her patrons who have a hankering for ‘unique’. Winning culinary competitions by entering a wide variety of her signature datil pepper dishes over the years, Hot Shot Bakery & Café has a following that includes all ages. Kids adore her baked goodies from cupcakes to cookies. College kids crave her hearty soups, wraps and paninis. Foodies die for anything she’s concocting, especially the new little chocolate covered datil pepper! How about Stoppelbein’s ‘WALL OF FLAME’ featuring photos of patrons who are eating their first datil pepper treat or competing to eat the most? After months of wannabe winners, the current champion has only eaten FOUR chocolate covered datils! DATIL PEPPER HISTORY: The history of St. Augustine’s prized pepper is that it was probably born in Peru, coursing a path to its cousin the Habanera (Havana) and then finding its home in St. Augustine. Stoppelbein and her husband Bubba grow the plants at their home in Elkton, Florida. A good year could bring 50-100 healthy plants yielding 2 bushels of peppers from each plant (22 pounds) which equals approximately 400-500 tiny bright green peppers. As they mature from June through the summer, they turn bright golden yellow. In addition to dipping the datils into semi-sweet Hershey chocolate, Stoppelbein manufactures her line of datil sauces, jams and condiments as ‘Datil B Good’. The line includes datil pepper BBQ sauce, citrus jam, four escalating degrees of hot sauce, datil mustard and her famous chocolate sauce ~ all with a kick!