Birthdays are some of the most important days of the year. Across the world, we celebrate each other’s birthdays with parties, food, and smiles. Taufeek Shah, founder and CEO of the all-natural hot sauce and spice brand Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce, finds a certain someone’s birthday to be uniquely important each year. The inspiration behind the brand, the creator and tester of every individual product, the foundation of Taufeek’s life, his mother Lola recently celebrated her birthday.
Taufeek Shah mentions, “Lola is the brand. She is what inspires each of us at Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce to continue to build our brand every single day.” Taufeek continues, “As an immigrant, I share a story that millions of Americans can relate to seeing their parents, coming from a different nation, with little money to their name, work as hard as they can to provide for their family.” Lola Shah came to the United States from the Philippines, with no money, but the hope to achieve the American Dream. She worked days and nights, always ensuring my sisters and I always had everything we could ask for. “My father is a veteran, and during my childhood he was deployed on Operation Desert Storm, yet while working days, nights, and weekends, my mother always ensured we had a well-prepared, delicious meal each day.” The meals Lola made for her family each day would inspire Taufeek Shah to incorporate the various generational family recipes into the brand that Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce is today.
Cooking was Lola’s passion. Coming from the Philippines she used generations of secret family recipes to compose amazing dishes, seasoned perfectly. With her husband, Taufeek’s father, being an immigrant from Pakistan, Lola began to learn from her mother-in-law how to incorporate Pakistani spices, seasonings, and dishes into her recipes. The unbelievable, and very unique fusion of the sweetness associated with Filipino cuisine, and the heat derived from Pakistani dishes would be at the heart of Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce decades later.
Within Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce, Taufeek is proud to remain steadfast in his focus on quality. Lola is still, and will always be the focal point of all research and development for Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce. She develops each recipe, selects each ingredient, and tests every single product we make to ensure it is perfect. Taufeek mentions, “She is the final say, and the foundation of the company.”
Taufeek looks back on his childhood memories with happiness. He mentioned the amount of care and support Lola always brings to the family. The work ethic of Lola would soon inspire a company, and every recipe and product inspired by her cooking. Taufeek Shah highlights a memory from his childhood that exemplifies the passion and support Lola had for Taufeek entrepreneurial spirit, “I was about ten years old, and I had a big box of these really amazing pens we had gotten. I took the box to school and began selling them to my friends, so I began selling it to friends of friends, and eventually just about my entire school has purchased a pen from me. I came home with a handful of money, and my mom could not have been more proud of my hard work.”
Throughout Taufeek Shah’s life, his mother Lola, provided the support, care, and passion that so many mothers across the world provide. Taufeek learned everything that he knows about food and recipes from his mother. What was once a mother preparing meals as her little boy stood on a chair eagerly watching the preparation of dinner, became one of America’s favorite hot sauce companies. Happy Birthday to Lola!