Tag Archives: salsa

Ousely Ouch: Nashville’s Homemade Salsa Company

On occasion, our weekly market set-up can be somewhat brutal. The trucks begin to circle around 2pm, shaking dust into the air from a summer’s drought. Boxes are unloaded, bungee cords are wrangled, tents painstakingly popped and tables set. This is not always the most enjoyable experience, especially in the Ric Ousley 4 sweltering heat. But during our toil and drudgery,  there is a special moment when the faint sounds of George Harrison’s guitar can be heard in the distance, and every vendor stops and looks up from beneath a sweaty brow. An arriving vendor blasts the Beatles White Album from the speakers of his pick-up truck, and everyone smiles in the afternoon sun. This is how Ric Ousley of Ousley Ouch salsa greets us every Wednesday at the ENFM. With a grin, a wave, a truck full of tasty salsas, and great music floating through the dusty air.

One look at Ric, and you can tell he is a cool guys. He is ponytailed, forever barefoot, and clad in a pair of wayfarer glasses, yet he is as friendly and approachable as he is unique.  He is a true Southern gentleman, in every sense of the word.  He was born and raised in Laurel, Mississippi, on a small family farm consisting of some cattle and gardens. He describes it as a “dirty stinkin’ town” (which is a direct quote from a Steve Forbert song, he says) due to Laurel’s high number of chicken farms and the plywood manufacturing plant. He grew up with one brother and a sister, and though the town was small, he and his brother could leave Laurel and be in the city of New Orleans in 3 hours flat, he says. Growing up on the farm, he developed a love for the Beatles (influenced by his older sist’er obsession at the time) and fresh produce grown in his family’s garden. He came to Tennessee in 1985, and after having difficulty finding a salsa that met his and his sister’s standards, he began to create his own. This is how the first recipe for Ousley Ouch was created: Out of necessity for a salsa that not only tasted delicious, but that was hot enough, too.Ousley Ouch

As time passed, his salsa’s reputation grew. He made it for friends, family, parties, and holidays. But when the demand out grew Ric’s ability to supply, he began to entertain the thought of starting a business and selling a line of his very own salsas. He took a jar to Barry Burnette at the Produce Place on Murphy Road, said he wanted  to sell it, and asked what he needed to do to make it happen.  A couple years later and with Barry as his mentor, Ousley Ouch salsa was officially in the works.

In the beginning, Ric and his wife Haseena were preparing the salsa by hand. They rented catering kitchens on Sundays when they were vacant and the Produce Place was their first real market. They offered two different varieties back then:  Mild and Hot. Now, Ousley Ouch salsa can be found in approximately 60 stores statewide, including Whole Foods and Publix. They make over 2,500 jars of salsa per month at a semi-automated industrial kitchen in Lebanon, TN, called the Cumberland Culinary Center. Now, Ric offers 4 different varieties in ascending order of heat level: Mild, Peach and Mango, Hot, and Ghost.

Every jar is filled with the best ingredients Ric can find. All the peppers used are grown on local Green Door Gourmet farm here in Nashville, and so far he has purchased almost 800 pounds of their jalapenos this year alone. He held taste tests with his friends to choose the right canned tomatoes before settling on the popular Red Gold Brand. The peaches and mangoes in his sweet and tart salsa are chunky and fresh tasting with no added sugar, because he wants you to actually taste the fruit. He also has a new variety he is tinkering with that he hopes to name “Ridicul-Ousely,” and ridiculously hot it will be, containing the world’s two hottest peppers, the Carolina Reeper, and the Trinidad Scorpion.ric ousley 3

After our interview, I’m certain Ric has one thing for sure, in addition to a friendly disposition. He has good taste. Great taste, in fact, and not just in music. He knows how to make a quality, fresh, and healthy product, and make it taste fantastic, too. If you visit the East Nashville Farmers Market stop by Ric’s tent and taste them for yourself. He has samples available at all times with a flavor to fit your taste buds. And if you stick around long enough while the market winds down, you  might get lucky and hear a riff or two of While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

For further information and to make online purchases, visit their website at www.ousleyouch.com.  You can also find a video here about Ousley Ouch Salsa that recently aired on Live Green Treen.

Submitted by Rebecah Boynton

Light Rain Brings Cooler Farmers Market

East Nashville Farmers MarketOur East Nashville farmers market is going strong!  Yesterday’s market was a bit damp, but that didn’t stop us.  In fact, the rain offered us all a chance to cool off after temps that reached near 90 degrees here in Nashville.

We always have a nice variety of local produce baked goods and other fresh food related products for our market customers.  Yesterday was no exception.  Fresh farm local produce offerings included sugar snap peas, summer squash, wheat grass, kale varieties, lettuces, strawberries, swiss chard, zucchini, carrots, peaches, pecans, broccoli, cabbage and much more.

Certified organically grown squash, zucchini and green onions from Delvin Farms

Certified organically grown squash, zucchini and green onions from Delvin Farms

Our other vendors shared their specialty made granola, salsa and hummus. We also had milk from Hatcher Family Dairy, cheese and goat milk products on hand. And our new meat vendor Triple L Ranch had beef, chicken and sausage from their all natural beef farm. There were also fresh herbs and starter plants for folks to take home.

Sound too good to be true?  Be sure to check out our photo gallery to see what we had at yesterday’s market and who was there.  A big thanks to all our vendors and customers who came out on an East Nashville rainy day!

Farm goat cheese from Noble Springs Dairy

Farm goat cheese from Noble Springs Dairy

We look forward to seeing you at our East Nashville Farmers Market next week.  Remember not to let a little rain spoil all the fun!

Opening Day Market Celebration Rescheduled for May 21st, 2014

Our new location in beautiful Shelby Park next to the children's playground next to the baseball diamonds

Our new location in beautiful Shelby Park next to the children’s playground next to the baseball diamonds

It’s Market Time Again!!!  We are excited to report that we had a very nice turn out for the very first market day of the season at the East Nashville Farmers Market.  Although it was a bit wet outside we enjoyed serving your families and a chance to splash in the puddles.

Be sure to stop by on May 21st to catch all of the Grand Opening Activities that were postponed due to the inclement weather.  We will have face painting, a farm animal petting zoo, live music from Johnny Campbell & the Bluegrass Drifters, yoga, a seed planting activity from Plant the Seed, food trucks, ice cream and much, more.

We look forward to seeing all of your friendly faces with us again this week.  Our local vendors are ready to serve the needs of your families with their bushels of fresh produce (including fresh strawberries), specialty food items (pimento cheese, salsa, honey), baked goods, dairy items, grass-fed beef, and more.  It is also a great time to pick up some plants and compost if you want to grow your own herbs and tomatoes.
See you there!

EVENTS
Come and join us for our rescheduled Opening Market Celebration at our New Location in Shelby Park, Wednesday, May 21st.

This weekly producers only market is a great place to find locally sourced foods from grass fed meats to organically raised produce, fresh pastured eggs, artisan craft cheese to honey.  The market will be open from 3:30-7pm and feature hourly giveaways, food trucks, a barnyard petting zoo, yoga, face painting, free seed planting activity, CSA sign-ups and live music!  Fun for all ages!  SNAP/EBT Accepted.  Leashed dogs are welcome.

This week’s music will be provided by Johnny Campbell and the Bluegrass Drifters.

To find our new market location in Shelby Park take Shelby Ave directly into the park once you cross 20th Street. Follow the winding road down the hill to the lake and turn right. Continue until you pass the Old Timers baseball field and must turn left onto Davidson St. You are now driving along the Cumberland river, just pass the baseball field on the left you will find our farmers market on the left next to the children’s play ground. The photo below is the location.