Spring in the Wasatch Back is still a bit chilly, but it’s ‘Damn Hot’ over at Frye Provisions where Ryan and Jessie Frye are bringing their “sweet southern heat to the Rocky Mountains” with their homemade hot sauce.
Ryan and Jessie Frye grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and have been involved with the hospitality industry most of their lives. They eventually ended up at the same restaurant, bar tending and, in Ryan’s words, “[…] one thing led to another.” Both Ryan and Jessie have adventurous souls and the couple decided to embark on a new adventure; leaving Memphis and heading out to explore the Western United States. They landed in Park City, Utah and loved it.
While living in Park City the couple would host parties at their home. Ryan shares, “I’ve always loved cooking and grilling; being from Memphis, food was a huge part of our lives. We really enjoyed inviting people over. I’d always be cooking and Jessie would always be entertaining. So, we decided that maybe it would be nice to have a restaurant of our own someday.” With all their combined experience and knowledge of how restaurants run, Ryan continued to explain, “The plan was, that if we were to open up a spot, I could do the back of house and Jessie could do the front of house; marketing, and all that good stuff.” In order to pursue their goals the two moved to Salt Lake so that Ryan could attend culinary school. Jessie also went back to school and finished her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Graphic Design at the University of Utah.
Soon after Jessie received her degree, Ryan was offered the executive chef position at the Washington School House, a luxury boutique hotel in Park City. The couple was excited to once again return to a more rural lifestyle. Ryan shares, “We took the opportunity in 2020, when things got crazy, and sold our house in Sugar House. We found a really awesome house out in Valley Hills where we have a beautiful view of the Timpanogos mountains.” Ryan continues, “We are big dog people. Right now we just have one dog but a big back yard so she can run and romp.
And now, the newest edition is Jack, our baby boy, so we are loving our little Heber spot.”
Ryan and Jessie both agree that Heber has been the perfect place to put down roots, and grow their family and their business, Frye Provisions, which features Ryan’s hand crafted hot sauce and Bloody Mary mix. As the executive chef at Washington School House, Ryan has the opportunity to create a lot of delicious food and “inevitably ended up making some hot sauce just for the restaurant.” It was a huge hit. Everyone loved it. Guests began requesting bottles to take back home with them. With ‘hospitality’ in his blood, of course Ryan would comply. Jessie was working as the marketing manager at the Zermatt Resort; putting her degree to work re-designing and designing their restaurant menus, signage, etc. She was also expecting their first child. Perfect timing to open a business — right. Right. Ryan explains, “Jess took some time off work for the baby and we were like, let’s see what it takes to make it [the hot sauce], bottle it, design it [the label], and put it on a shelf.”
The two got to work! Ryan heating up the kitchen with batches of hot sauce and Jessie raising temperatures with her design prowess; and ‘Hot Damn’ they created a delicious product that represents both their ‘Southern Hospitality’ and their ‘Western Gumption’ perfectly. Ryan shares, “Literally last April, we had our first bottle made and started sending samples out. People liked it — they liked the look and the taste. Our first gig was the Heber Market on Main in June. From there we started going around and asking local shops if they would be interested in selling it.” Today, you can find Frye Provisions Handcrafted Hot Sauce at Park City Market, Fair Weather Natural Food, Heber Valley Brewing, and the Washington School House where many a happy guest can now purchase a bottle to take home via the hotel’s gift shop! Frye Provisions also offers a variation of the hot sauce as a Bloody Mary mix which you can request at both Washington School House and Heber Valley Brewing. You can also visit Fryeprovisions.com and order as many bottles as your palate desires.
When asked about the future of Frye Provisions Ryan says, “It would be nice if our company did take off — that would be sweet — but those are all bigger details — I think the next big step would be going to a co-pack or making it in a factory because right now I make it all myself.” He explains, “I’m taking all the fresh ingredients, I’m blistering it all up, I’m bottling it all and putting all the labels on myself, […] eventually it would be great to be able to expand and get into bigger stores like Smiths, Lee’s Marketplace, or Whole Foods.” Ryan and Jessie say they are excited to see where their little ‘side hustle’ takes them, but for right now Jessie is loving being a full-time mom and Ryan loves working at the Washington School House. He shares, “The owners of the hotel are an extremely gracious couple that lives in San Diego. I’ve made a good relationship with them over the past few years. They’ve given me their trust of being able to create their menus and run their restaurant […] and we’ve had great success with it. I literally just asked them, ‘Would you be okay if I started this company?’ and you know their immediate response was, ‘We wish you the best and let us know if we can do anything.’ They are just really good people to work for.”
Both Ryan and Jessie agree that whatever the future holds for them; gathering together with friends and family to enjoy delicious hand crafted food and good ‘ole southern hospitality will always be a huge part of their lives. And who knows maybe someday a lighted Frye Provisions sign, designed by Jessie, will hang above the doors of their very own restaurant; where Jessie will run all things front of house, and Ryan, of course, will be running the back of house.
You can visit and order as many bottles as your palate desires. Pro Tip: bring a bottle to your next get-together and make a sweet & spicy impression!