Who would have thought that a random pepper seed from a close friend living in Hawaii would be the beginning of this Georgia grown story now turned best selling product for Pappy & Company? For nearly a decade this family run business, operated by David Lemieux, his wife and two sons, have been growing the Bhut Jolikia pepper (aka Ghost Pepper) out of Midland, Georgia--hence the name Midland Ghost. To say that cultivating this unique pepper in the western part Georgia has proven to be “effective” is a bit of an understatement when you get to know David and his thriving pepper farm business.
Like most Pappy & Company products, the story begins with a friendship forged between Pappy & Company’s co-founder Chenault James, her husband Ed James and Midland Ghost’s business owner David Lemieux. Ed had taken the early experimental offerings (essentially the first version version of Pappy & Company’s barrel-aged pepper sauce) to Kentucky for Christmas one year. The pepper sauce was a huge hit with the Van Winkle family and from there, two crafts were tied together and Pappy & Company’s barrel-aged pepper sauce was born.
For those of you who haven’t tried this award winning pepper sauce, it’s a unique flavor profile unlike anything on the market. The Pappy & Company barrel-aged pepper sauce is the result of the vibrant Georgia grown Midland Ghost peppers resting in oak-charred Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels. Theses barrels have spent prior decades perfecting bourbon, and like all Pappy & Company barrel-aged products, it strikes a balanced flavor profile between the pepper’s heat and subtle hints of bourbon.
As a family run operation, founder David Lemieux credits the help of his sons and wife in the growing, aging and crafting process of the business. Much like Pappy & Company, Midland Ghost has created a baseline of values for their family. The entire business experience has taught life lessons to his boys including confidence, responsibility, motivation along with solid decision making skills and solid partnerships. Similar to Pappy Van Winkle, Midland Ghost’s standards remain high to insure their products retain the same integrity since inception all the way through to the customer.
With a solid partnership forged on shared family and business values, paired with a top selling product, we see a lot of possibilities on how this joint venture could grow and there’s no telling what’s next. Perhaps a seasoning salt? Hot maple syrup? Or even a Bloody Mary concoction. Stay tuned as our product development continues.
Be sure to follow David and his family’s business @midlandghost