Hospitality management students produced 150 bottles of “Go Green for Spring” Hawk Sauce, available while supplies last at Southeast’s Catapult Creative House, located at 612 Broadway in downtown Cape Girardeau, at $10 per bottle.
“Go Green for Spring” Hawk Sauce is made with jalapeño and serrano peppers, a recipe that was initially created during the Spring 2019 semester — at the same time as the original, Fresno-chili based Hawk Sauce recipe.
“Based on taste tests conducted by the students, the green sauce was popular,” said Dr. Quantella Noto, associate professor of hospitality management and hospitality management program director. “It was actually Dr. Carlos Vargas’ (Southeast President) favorite.”
Back then, however, the decision was made to enter the market with the Fresno-chili based sauce due to its vibrant color and full flavor, as well as the desire to create a differentiated product. But now, Noto said, it’s time to introduce a new flavor to the product line.
Because the green sauce recipe had been previously created, she said it simply required some tweaking this year.
“There is most definitely some experimentation that goes on,” Noto said of the process to create Hawk Sauce. “We taste a few batches before settling on the final combination of ingredients, and then we taste again during production.”
The concept for producing a hot sauce began as a hands-on project for a sales and marketing hospitality management course. That’s why creating Hawk Sauce is more than just combining the right ingredients — it’s also about marketing and sales.
“The promotion component of the process is key,” Noto said. “This product started in 2019 as a class project to apply the student’s ability to implement marketing concepts such as product development, target marketing, differentiation and branding into an experiential learning activity.”
Noto said the ability of her students to recognize when they had something viable and sustainable was “a home run” for the students and the hospitality management program overall.
“I can’t emphasize enough how valuable experiential education is for student growth and success,” Noto said.
Hospitality management student Rachel Ralfs said working with Hawk Sauce has allowed her to gain experience in quantity food production, as well as the process of preparing an item for sale such as licensing agreements and applying marketing concepts.
Ralfs is experienced in Hawk Sauce production, after participating in the cooking and bottling of last year’s batch.
“I was excited to be able to take part in the full process this year. I helped with the prepping of the peppers, cooking and bottling,” Ralfs said. “Working with the Hawk Sauce has been an amazing time. I’ve been able to connect more with my fellow classmates and underclassmen.”
Second semester junior hospitality management student Max Philipps was new to Hawk Sauce production this year and said he wants people to know that purchasing Hawk Sauce helps support the hospitality management program and its future endeavors.
“The Hawk Sauce project so far has really been fun,” Philipps said. “Being a foodie and being someone who plans to open their own restaurant one day, anything food related interests me. With that being said, the project has been super interesting, and I hope to do more like it in the future.”
“Go Green for Spring” Hawk Sauce is available while supplies last at Southeast’s Catapult Creative House.
The Fresno-chili based Hawk Sauce is also available for purchase at Catapult Creative House’s Etsy page here.