The Carolina Reaper Pepper story started for Pepper Joe in January, 2012.
Bob Nunnencamp, Ed Currie's top executive came to the Charlotte Home and Garden show. He introduced himself to Joe and explained that him and Ed Currie were big fans of Pepper Joe's. Ed later stated that the only company that he's bought pepper seeds from was Pepper Joe's.
They wanted to line up a meeting and ask us to be the exclusive distributor for his Carolina Reaper seeds. We met at a restaurant in Barefoot Landing in Myrtle Beach on February 16th, 2012.
Ed explained that he saw us as the top Hot Pepper Seed company in the world and wanted us to help him market his invention, the Carolina Reaper. We did our due diligence and visited his greenhouses, farms, irrigation system, etc. We even went to the Winthrop University to validate the testing procedures for the Carolina Reaper with Doctor Cliff Calloway.
The rest is history.
A press release came out on August 27th, 2012 to introduce the Carolina Reaper to the World. Then FINALLY on November 14th, 2013 Guinness declared the Carolina Reaper the Hottest Pepper in the World. Yeah!
This new Carolina Reaper is an absolutely amazing pepper. It has a sweet chocolate-cherry under tone with a hint of citrus. It's as tasty as it is hot. HOT? The Guinness Book Of World Records has documented the heat level at 1,569,000 Scoville Heat Units. And according to our Facebook page of over 110,000 fans/customers they're having a blast growing the Carolina Reaper.
Our customers have grown out approximately 150,000 Carolina Reaper plants with most of the pods showing incredible results. Our customers are reporting that as the plant matures and the summer gets hotter, the pods become more Reaper-ish and gnarly looking.
It wasn't exactly smooth sailing at the beginning. The Chilehead community accused Ed of releasing the Carolina Reaper before it was a stable variety. I can't speak directly to that as I've never seen Ed's testing records.
Pepper Joe stepped in and was a staunch supporter of Ed's....and we took most of that heat in the early days. Smokin' Ed didn't answer back on the Blogs. Ed had his reasons for that and that is between him and the Chilehead community.
Then we had customers complaining that their seed count was light. We market the seeds as 10+ in quantity. I clearly told Ed that I wanted 12 Carolina Reaper seeds in every envelope. I want to give my customers more than they expect. But when I counted the seeds that Ed's people packed....the quantity ranged from 7 to 16 seeds per pack.
I implored Ed to fix the count issues. Him and Bob Nunnemcamp vowed that they would.
However, when I took possession of Ed's packaged seeds....it didn't go so well. I've received maybe a few hundred complaints that seeds were light in quantity . I replaced those seeds with an entirely NEW pack of seeds at my expense. So my customers got MORE Carolina Reaper seeds than they expected.
I just want my customers to be happy....and MY name is on the purchase....not PuckerButts. I didn't pass the buck to Ed. So I ate that loss. You're welcome Ed. Puckerbutt's is still a small emerging company and is learning from their mistakes. We're here for ya Bro Ed.
But in our 25 year history we've ALWAYS packaged our seeds in house and did it ourselves. That will be the LAST time another company packages our seeds for us.
So where are we now? There are only two authorized sellers of Carolina Reaper Seeds: Pepper Joe's and Puckerbutts. Any other seeds are a fake, or may not be from the original stock....or it may be a Breach of Contract on the exclusive contract that Pepper Joe's has with Puckerbutt. We'll sort that all out.
Please be a responsible buyer and do your homework and due diligence before you buy any seeds.
THANKS for checking in with Pepper Joe's!