One of the valley’s best-known local food products — Dave’s Hot Pepper Jelly — began with co-owner Dave Sutherland experimenting in his kitchen.

“At that time (20 years ago) there wasn’t much more than red pepper jelly and green pepper jelly, and he really wanted to try some different flavours, so he decided to make some of his own,” said Dave’s wife and business co-owner Kathy Sutherland.

The results of Dave’s culinary experiments were so popular, he was soon giving away hundreds of jars to family and friends.

He quickly realized that his hot pepper jellies were enough of a hit to turn into a business.

Kathy and Dave started selling jellies at the Invermere Farmer’s Market when the market began 14 years ago, and have since expanded into a full-time, family-run business selling 10 flavours at several locations in the valley and around B.C. and Alberta, although they are still at the farmer’s market every weekend.

“We’re really passionate about the farmer’s market and the fact that’s it’s all locally baked, grown or made. In our opinion, it’s a true farmer’s market and we’re really proud to be part of it,” said Kathy, adding that the local food scene in the valley is really taking off.

“We try to use as much local or B.C. produced ingredients in our jelly as possible,” she said. “Although we’re not certified organic, we use organic ingredients wherever we can, for instance the mangoes we use are all organic.”

Dave’s Hot Pepper Jelly fans will soon see a few changes to the jellies — they will be sold in larger jars next month (but prices will remain unchanged) and they will have new labels.

For more information check out daveshot or call 250-342-0838.