BOCA RATON, Fla. — In a Boca Raton vegan kitchen, Carol Chapius is making magic.
When she's not in the kitchen, boarding and rescuing animals in Loxahatchee Groves is her happy place.
"I have two horses, eight pigs, a sheep, a goat, a couple of chickens and six cats on my own," Chapius said.
When the coronavirus pandemic first hit, Chapius said she had to, unfortunately, shut the boarding business down.
"The animal rescue is survived by my money from boarding animals. When the market crashed, I couldn't save animals anymore," she said.
After spending her entire life rescuing animals, Chapius decided it was time to spice things up.
She called her good friend Jennifer Swiger for ideas. That's when the two said they struck chocolate gold.
The two expanded the brand of Fire Hiney sauces, and their most popular blend quickly became chocolate hot sauce.
"She calls me in the morning, and she asks what I'm doing, and I said, 'I'm making chocolate hot sauce.' And she says, 'What?'" Swiger said.
Chocolate hot sauce was born.
"We call it the five-second after-party," Chapius said. "It takes five seconds for the heat to kick in. You get that nice, sweet dessert flavor and then that heat just lights you up."
Chapius and Swiger said proceeds from Fire Hiney Hot Sauces go directly to raising awareness and national support for animal rescues.
Chapius said that's the real reward.
"Why can't I use my expertise to go across the country to educate, renovate and rehabilitate shelters across the country? I want to write checks to shelters across the country so they can do what I do," Chapius said.
"The education is about how to renovate the facilities as well. I use tile walls. ... I've been cage-free and doing this for 30 years."
Swiger, who is now co-partner for Fire Hiney, is inspired by the idea.
"Carol has just continuously put every person and every animal, sometimes even above herself," Swiger said.
Plus, she and her team travel, selling products and educating those on their mission.
Since Fire Hiney Hot Sauce has been operational, several restaurants in South Florida have purchased the bottles.
Click here for a list of those restaurants or to get more information on how you can purchase bottles to support animal rescue.