A Hot Sauce Brand Born Out of a Life-Altering Diagnosis

Kevin Carbone, a former Hoboken, and current Jersey Shore resident, was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, a lifelong autoimmune disease at age 21.  On his path to a better manage his health, he was determined to focus on nutrition. He fell in love with anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric – products that aren’t typically synonymous with hot sauce, if ever. But Kevin was determined to stay true to healthy eating and also enjoy this everyday condiment. Enter: Sauce Bae.

The Journey to Sauce Bae

Sauce Bae

Since Kevin’s diagnosis nine years ago, he’s been on a journey to improve his health through his diet. Seeking out anti-inflammatory foods and eating clean has helped him manage his health.

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“I also became a strong advocate for eating real, whole foods in their natural forms. Eating this way was critical for restoring my health, and it’s how I developed a passion for cooking. The shocking thing is that it was nearly impossible to find packaged food items that didn’t have any fake ingredients. Too often, we fall for buzzwords without checking an item’s ingredients to find out the truth. Plenty of items are marketed as ‘all-natural even though the ingredient list suggests otherwise,” he explained.

Sauce Bae

“I realized the hot sauce category presented the perfect opportunity. Most hot sauces on the market were loaded with sodium, had added sugars, and contained either artificial preservatives or fake thickeners like Xanthan Gum. I was determined to change that. I set out to create the healthiest option on the market, without sacrificing any flavor. This is what inspired me to leave my finance career and create a truly all-natural food product that incorporated turmeric in it.”

The end result of Kevin’s work is Sauce Bae. Sauce Bae is a pineapple habanero hot sauce that’s made with turmeric, is low sodium, and is truly all-natural. Oh, and it’s delicious!

The Hot Sauce Today

Sauce Bae

Since 2019, the sauce has been featured on season 9 of the multi-million viewer show Hot Ones and has gained more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon.

The sauce has also landed on the shelves of major retailers like HomeGoods and Cost Plus World Market for seasonal placements. Sauce Bae hot sauce was recently launched in 63 Price Rite stores and 70 select ShopRite stores throughout the Tri-state area. The Hoboken, Jersey City, and Bayonne ShopRites will be included in this launch, so if it’s not already on the shelf then it will be in the very near future.

Sauce Bae

“I was also recently nominated on the Forbes Next 1,000 list,” Kevin proudly shared.

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“Once upon a time, I would have considered my diagnosis the worst thing to ever happen to me, but by keeping an optimistic outlook on my situation I was able to create a silver lining. Life throws curveballs at us all, so I hope to inspire others to try and find their silver lining.”

To shop the hot sauce, visit the Sauce Bae website, and to stay in the know with the brand, follow along on Instagram at @saucebae.


Written by:

Victoria is HG's Associate Editor and Social Media Coordinator for the Hoboken Historical Museum + Fire Department Museum. She is also a Board Member of LUPE Fund – a nonprofit by Latinas for Latinas. Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square, and Jersey City. Through playing softball in town for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, trying new restaurants, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.