1. Can you give us a brief overview of who you are and how you started this business?
We are Tim and Alyssa Herod, we live in the Richmond District and love being part of the Richmond community. We own and operate a boutique home staging and design business together as well, and had been renting a small art studio space that not only served our staging business well, but also provided us a great escape during 2020 where we could get out of our tiny apartment and social distance amongst our art supplies. We always dreamed of opening a small shop where we could express more of our interests and passions outside of home staging, and in 2021 we made that dream a reality and started to build out our 450 sq ft Richmond haven into what is now Wood Goods and Hot Sauce; a name inspired by Tim’s hot sauce and wood wall hangings by Alyssa’s brother, Eric.
2. Is there a specific moment in your life that led to your love of hot sauce?
Tim has always had a passion for food, growing up cooking concoctions with his dad and then ultimately attending culinary school in SF. His dad was known for his amazing BBQ sauce (recipe of which can never be shared!) and after his passing, Tim took to the kitchen to carry on the love of sauce, and his dad, and created his now signature “House Red” by Herod Hot that is the ‘hot sauce’ of Wood Goods and Hot Sauce.
3. Can you tell us more about the wood sculpted art? Origin story, types of items, etc?
The wood sculpted art is by Alyssa’s brother, Eric. They were designed specifically for home accent pieces, intended to bring a light and natural feel to interiors. The wood is ethically wild-harvested which means the wood pieces used are always already downed pieces of wood and not cut from living trees. Eric has been working with Tim and Alyssa’s design company for the last 6 years creating custom wood sculptures for home staging installations and design clients. His art is the ‘Wood Goods’ in Wood Goods and Hot Sauce which has inspired the gallery wall of our shop, which now rotates showcasing six artists of various mediums a year!
4. Do you look for any specific qualities when choosing artists?
We generally look for artists, near and far, who are clearly passionate about their work. That’s basically the main criteria. We have been so fortunate to be surrounded by a wide network of artists in our lives, and lucky enough to get to showcase them on our gallery wall. We’ve since met and worked with artists who have found their way into our shop, and we feel so grateful to continue to weave a larger web. We have had photographers, mixed media collage artists, digital artists and videographers, and are open to all mediums! Beat poetry? Performance art? We’re into it! If you’re an artist who would love to show your work, reach out to us!
5. What do you love most about living and operating a business in the Richmond District?
The Richmond is SF’s best neighborhood! In our humble opinion. Next to the park, next to the ocean, surrounded by cute shops and awesome restaurants. It’s like living in a small town, but without having to leave the city life that we thrive in.
Through the shop, we get to reconnect to hosting, something we love to do in our personal lives, and to a sense of service that reminds us of when we worked in restaurants, bars, and hospitality; which we both grew up doing and which brings us so much joy. To be able to have a shop in the neighborhood we live in is truly so special; we are getting to know our neighbors and we are meeting people from all over the country. We have regulars, which is the best feeling, and also we get to meet new people every day we are in the shop. It’s a great honor to have a space in our community where we can express ourselves and our passions, and also be able to host pop-up events featuring other vendors and creatives that bring people out to spend time together. The shop is a place where we get to feel like we are having friends over for dinner and enjoy flowing conversation and laughs…but instead of dinner, it’s chips and hot sauce tastings.
6. What are some of your favorite shops nearby?
We have the best neighbors!! Love Street Vintage is on our corner, and they are a go-to vintage shop in SF with such a well curated selection of goods, we shop there regularly and can’t get enough. Right next door to us we have Fresh League salon/self-care lounge by the incredibly talented Justine, best hair service in the Richmond. Our street was recently blessed with the Coffee Movement moving into where Orson’s Belly used to be, and they are hands down THE BEST coffee and tea we’ve had in this city and we still count our lucky stars that they moved onto our little strip on Balboa. We love the Richmond so much, and especially our little corner of it, we see some storefronts in our area that have recently become available and we are hoping some more retailers find their way over to our neck of the woods.
7. What events do you have coming up that you are really excited about? (This issue will come out mid October)
We are super excited to host the Uncreamery in our shop for a vegan cheese and mocktail tasting, an “uncheese” and “unbooz” pairing, on October 21st from 3pm-5pm. We’ll be showcasing the most delicious dairy-free cheeses by the Uncreamery paired with a curated selection of hot sauces from our shelves, and served with our go-to collection of mocktails and alcohol free wines.
We also do a monthly event called ‘Second Saturdays’, where every second Saturday of the month we host, together with our neighboring retailers, pop-up vintage and food vendors on our sidewalk for a daytime sidewalk party!
8. Do you have any special offerings during the holidays?
We curate special holiday gift baskets that make for thoughtful and easy gift giving! We also do a pop-up flower stand on the weekends of our handmade floral arrangements, perfect for bringing to friend and family holiday parties throughout the season, or for some extra holiday flair in your own home;) And as always, we offer free hot sauce tastings every day we are open; bringing the heat to the fog belt.
Visit Wood Goods and Hot Sauce at 1821 Balboa St on Saturday & Sunday from 12 - 5 pm or online at woodgoodsandhotsauce.com !