Sauce responsibly. Always use a condiment. The sassy tag line of Erin Link’s company, Yellowbird Foods, is an apt representation of her sunny and savvy personality. And the yellow bird is a fitting symbol for both the company and its creator.
Yellow birds live in Thailand and eat bird peppers, tiny fruit that no other creatures eat. The yellow birds are immune to capsaicin, the chemical in peppers that make them spicy. They thrive on a plant that others overlook. So do Erin and Yellowbird!
Neither Erin nor her cofounder had any food production experience before creating their line of hot sauces. They did share a love of spicy foods and a commitment to eating cleaner. Erin and her partner created Yellowbird with the idea of selling sauces at farmers’ markets and local restaurants. Eventually they decided to go bigger, and they built their own small factory.
Erin handles marketing, branding, and customer relations for the company, while her partner works with recipes, research, and development. They’ve recently hired employees to help with their expansion.
Business has been brisk, and Yellowbird has picked up some industry awards since its inception. The hot sauces got a shout-out on the Showtime series, Billions, when actress Malin Akerman picked up a bottle from the shelf and said, “Here it is. Yellowbird.”
Yellowbird sauces are sold in Wegmans, Meijer, Whole Foods, and even REI, among other national retailers.