- From 1 to 2000 -
All of our Habaneros are organically grown in Japan on healthy soil. Each year, we cultivate around 2000 habanero plants, which is the perfect quantity for crafting all of our Mellow Habanero products with creativity.
My journey began in 2002 when I received a single fruit of habanero from a friend. The fragrance of the fruit, reminiscent of flowers and fruity sweetness, instantly captivated me, but it was the intensely hot and spicy taste that truly ignited my passion. Carefully saving the seeds from that one fruit led to an increase in the number of plants each year. I dreamt of vast fields covered in bountifully ripened golden habaneros as far as the eye could see. (As of 2021, our habaneros are the 19th generation seeds of self-seeding).
- Making the Craft Hot Sauce -
Initially, I experimented with various blends of habanero hot sauce for myself and friends, and it turned out to be a crowd-pleaser. Subsequently, I established a small factory, obtained the necessary permits, selected the perfect bottle, and designed the label, all of which remain my favorite aspects of the work. To this day, I'm doing every step, from label design and sauce-making to packaging and shipping.
Habanero cultivation begins on Ishigaki Island(An island further south of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan).
Relocated to Hyogo Prefecture. Commenced research on Mellow Habanero.
Started small-scale sales of 'Mild' & 'Extra' at Craft Market in Kyoto Japan. Continued monthly participation until 2008.
Started selling 'Heaven'. Turned Mellow Habanero into a corporate entity.
Started selling 'Smoky'. Began international sales.
Hosted a Habanero Man Talk Show at the first-ever hot sauce specialty store in New York, 'HEATONIST' (www.heatonist.com).
Started selling 'Rich Sesame Hot Paste'.
Started selling 'Hop in Heaven' and won at the World Hot Sauce Awards in the United States.
The Habanero fields were devastated by severe flooding from the heavy rain and two direct hits from typhoons. Temporarily closed.
Company and processing facility relocated to Osaka. Entrusted Habanero cultivation to an organic farmer in Nagano Prefecture. Bountiful harvest.
Started selling 'Mellow Habanero Chocolate'.
Started selling 'YUZU Heaven', a collaboration sauce with New York's hot sauce specialty store 'HEATONIST.'
Started selling 'YUZU Heaven' in a Japanese-style bottle(4oz).
Started selling 'Super MINT'.
- About Habanero Man -
My name is Taku Kondo, born and raised in Tokyo. In my childhood, I was diligent, studying for the entrance exam of the highest-level junior high school. However, my parents' divorce changed my course, and I embraced a carefree and enjoyable life. This freedom allowed me to develop my individuality and independence. An essential part of my journey has always been my deep love for spicy foods and TABASCO since childhood.
As I reached adulthood, I ventured into the culinary world by starting a small mobile food truck curry shop in Shibuya, Tokyo. Offering daily special curries with original recipes, I handed out flyers to commuters at Shibuya station. Soon, a multitude of customers started lining up for my curry, and I even received interviews from magazines and TV programs.
After three years of running the food truck, I passed on the business to an acquaintance. Seeking a natural and serene environment, I decided to move to Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, one of Japan's southernmost islands.
There, in the midst of a tropical jungle, I built a house, cooked meals over firewood, and drank water from the creek—a primitive life that had been a dream of mine since childhood. However, the endless summer vacation gradually lost its allure. In 2002, a single fruit of habanero from a friend forever changed my life. That fiery meteorite-like habanero sparked a momentous decision; I left the jungle and relocated to a larger field in Tamba, Hyogo, to establish Habanero farms. For 14 years, the farm and production expanded in Tamba.
Yet, in 2018, two major typhoons struck my habanero farms, flooding the entire field. While a small number of habanero plants barely survived, I had to close down the operation.
Undeterred by that catastrophic event, I decided to move back to the city. I shifted my business and life to Osaka, where I gleefully embarked on another DIY project—making a small factory and office, complete with walls, kitchen, and habanero-stained glass! If you ever find yourself in Osaka, I warmly invite you to visit.
Furthermore, I resolved to grow my habaneros in Saku City, Nagano Prefecture, with the invaluable assistance of my friend farmer. Currently, nearly all of our 2000 habanero plants are organically grown in Nagano—a beautiful mountainous region, remarkably less susceptible to natural disasters.
My vision is to create original hot sauce loved by spicy enthusiasts worldwide, always using the finest ingredients.
Remember, No Spicy No Life!
Taku "Habanero Man" Kondo
-Locations in Japan-
Born, raised and food truck in: Tokyo
The southern island where I lived a natural life and met the Habanero: Ishigaki island
The country where the habanero was expanded: Tamba
Where I am now: Osaka
Current main habanero field: Saku City Nagano
Ta-nm Farm LLC .
2F, 2-6-10 Miyakojimahondori Miyakojimaku Osaka 534-0021 Japan