Chilli Pepper Pete’s new shop – Trafalgar Street Brighton

by Thelurch on September 10, 2011 · 4 comments

in Product Reviews

So much more than just a shop!

Chilli Pepper Pete Chilli Shop Brighton

Chilli Pepper Pete Chilli Shop Brighton

A few weeks ago, I thought it was about time I should visit Chilli Pepper Pete at his brand new shop in Brighton, and do a review for those who haven’t seen it.

As someone who lives just outside Brighton, I had visited Pete’s previous shop which was located in the Marina, some two miles away from the main shopping area of the town. I had always thought this was too far out of the city. The new shop is located in Trafalgar Street, in the area known as the North Laines, a stone’s throw from the City’s Railway Station. Those familiar with the seaside town will know that this area, along with the South Laines, house a huge assortment of independents, cafés and general curiosity shops in its constantly crowded, diverse and bustling streets, where you can buy anything from beads to noodles and now Chillies!

Chilli Pepper Pete Chilli Shop - Brighton 2011

Pete outside the shop

As you walk down Trafalgar Street, there is no mistaking Chilli Pepper Pete’s shop, as it stands out from the rest with its bright, colourful familiar branded signage. Upon entering the shop, brushing past the Ristra strings that hang near the doorway, I see the shop is smaller than the original one, but that’s good thing in my opinion. There’s nothing worse than a vacuous shop with not enough stock to fill it. It’s also immediately clear that I am walking into another world, a Chilli world.

The team at CPP, the majority of which are family members, have made use of every available space to create a visceral feast for the eyes. The walls are a deep red, the only colour to use in a Chilli shop, although there isn’t much wall space visible due to the huge range of sauces, relishes and jellies for sale from around the world. The range is quite impressive and adds just about every colour to the walls. I kept thinking I’d walked into a Potion shop in Diagon Alley!

Chilli Pepper Pete Chilli Shop - Brighton 2011

Massive range of stock

In addition, there are fresh chillies, plants, seeds, powdered and dried pods, chilli jewellery, T-Shirts and even shrunken heads! Although the main focus is the huge range of sauces.

Another thing I noticed during my visit was the great community feel about the shop, people pop in, have a look, chat and buy, and there is a steady flow of customers. I have never had that feeling in any other shop. Pete hit the nail on the head with the observation that Chillies seem to bring people together, strangers are happy to talk to each other when Chillies are involved and that rings true in this shop, just like at West Dean and the like, definitely not something you get in the supermarket!

Talking to Pete, for those that have never met him, and this was my first meeting, I found him very friendly, relaxed and welcoming. You get that feeling that he has a wicked sense of humour which is also demonstrated in the CPP range of sauces, dragon’s blood being his best seller, and the well -known sauces he has imitated, purely for fun. He told me the story about a certain sauce he made, which bore more than a passing resemblance in name and shape, fully intentionally, to a mainstream sauce made by a worldwide chicken eatery, and the lawsuit which ensued, and has only just been rescinded.

Chilli Pepper Pete Chilli Shop - Brighton 2011

There be Dragons in Brighton

Pete’s business started some 15+ years ago under the name b.right.on (Brighton) making frozen curry ready meals in a market where ready meals were a new concept. This is when Pete realised how many varieties of Chillies there were, most of which were not easy to source at the time, but realising he needed an increasing number of Chillies for the curries he was making, he started growing his own. It was during this time that a supplier in Brighton introduced him to a new Chilli called the Naga, which he made into his first sauce called “Zhoug” and the Chilli Pepper Pete brand was born. He now has Naga’s growing on a large plot in Southern Spain, and employs someone to grow his “superhots” range of fresh Chillies in this country.

It’s clear that cooking is one of Pete’s passions, after all it’s where he started and he is still Chief sauce maker, although he now has an apprentice being trained to cook the top secret recipes, and tells me he has plans to re-introduce the range of his own frozen ready meal curries for sale in the shop, and has dreams of opening a shop in the Capital.

I find the man very interesting, I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about Chillies but how wrong I was. Pete talks openly about the business, telling many stories and anecdotes which draw me in and make me wish I had had half the Chilli experience this man has had.

So in summary, I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Chilli Pepper Pete’s if you ever find yourself in Brighton, or indeed Sussex, especially with their upcoming FieryFoodsUK event in the town this month, there’s every reason to visit as there is a great vibe, and a great team behind the scenes too.

l am planning to become a regular at the shop, not only because it is local to me but because I can get all my regular chilli fixes from one location.

There really should be a Chilli Pepper Pete’s shop in every city, London, New York and beyond!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar tt29 August 28, 2012 at 1:14 am

Much prefer one in Brighton Marina.No parking issues and nice spot etc,friendly owner

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