Hot sauce enthusiasts may be familiar with Mat’s Hot Shop. Once an online-only store dedicated to the stuff is now about to open doors to a bricks and mortar locale that’ll act as not just a retail space, but Australia’s first hot sauce tasting room, too.
Behind the concept is Mat Garthwaite, who launched his (virtual) shop back in 2019. Since, Mat has built a devoted fan base of hot sauce obsessors thanks to the program of about 150 bottles
sauced sourced from within Australia and further afield.
“We carry anywhere from 100 to 150 hot sauces from around the world at any one time. Predominantly from the US, but we also have sauces from Mexico, Canada, Fiji, China and New Zealand. More recently, we’ve also been investing a lot more time and energy into supporting the industry here in Australia as it begins to take off. We’ve tripled the number of Australian products we now stock and currently work with over 30 local makers—with more and more reaching out to us every day,” says Mat.
Depending on the heat levels, the right stuff has the ability to bring any dish from bland to blast-your-face-off, but that’s just one of the many nuances that come part and parcel with each and every bottle of hot sauce. At Mat’s Hot Shop, it’s a real try-before-you-buy situation, where Garthwaite will take you through the entirety of the current catalogue.
“Part of what I wanted to achieve with Mat’s Hot Shop is educating people about flavour, heat profiles, and show the versatility of hot sauce.
“It's about flavour—it’s not about blowing people's heads off. Although if that’s your thing, we stock that too,” Mat said.
While you’d be remiss not explore the full gamut of what’s on offer—many of which are imported and exclusively available at Mat’s Hot Shop—one that can’t be missed is Mat’s very own Pechango Tango: a blend of peaches, mango, spices and fiery habanero peppers that’s won a stack of awards both locally and abroad. And, yep, for those wondering if Mat’s Hot Shop stocks official Hot Ones hot sauce, they certainly do. In fact, he’s the official stockist.
Mat’s Hot Shop opens Saturday 6 November. Find it at 204A Wellington Street, Collingwood.
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Image credit: Charlie Hawks