From his mother’s home to a global brand, Taufeek Shah is passionate about Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce, the company he now oversees as CEO.
Shah’s stayed busy over the last year as he and his team worked to get Lola’s into more stores around the country and establish more professional partnerships.
He was also highlighted by The Des Moines Register as one of the newspaper’s “2023 People to Watch”. But, no matter where the brand pops up, Shah said Iowa is always at the heart of what the company does.
"So Lola's. We're right here. We're local. We started here. We're born here. Everything about Lola's is from here. So we're generational family recipe," Shah said. "My mom came in the 80s to take care of local Iowa farmers, and I had been eating this since I was a kid."
He sits on the advisory council of nonprofit Proteus Inc., which helps connect agriculturalists and meat processors in Iowa and other Midwest states to resources. Ingredients farmed by these workers make their way to Lola’s, where they’re used in the company’s different hot sauces.
"It's a big thing and a big ideal for us to give back to the community because supporting them — they're the ones that put all the delicious fresh peppers, the fresh garlic and everything into our product," Shah said. "That, we really want to pay homage and make sure we're taking care of that."
Ahead of “National Hot Sauce Day” on Sunday, Jan. 22, Shah shared his family’s story with Local 5 and also gave us a taste of a recently released flavor.