Like the datil pepper, the O’Steen family has been part of St. Augustine’s history since the beginning. It seems only natural that this fiery pepper would be part of the O’Steen family legacy.
As a kid, Mike O’Steen can vividly remember his grandfather growing datil pepper plants in his hothouse. Mike learned at an early age not only how to cultivate the peppers, but also how to cook with this staple ingredient of our local cuisine.
Ten years ago, Mike returned to his datil pepper roots and began making sauces as a hobby for oyster roasts. He figured out how to perfect his family’s recipe and create the amazing sauce Minorcan Mike’s offers today.
Minorcan Mike’s entered the marketplace kicking. After only three months on the market, Minorcan Mike’s was voted second best datil pepper sauce in town by Best of St. Augustine. Mike didn’t even realize he was being considered until he heard he had won runner-up through the grapevine. But word of mouth travels fast in a town that’s serious about its datil peppers. Anyone who tries Minorcan Mike’s Datil Sauce instantly becomes a loyal customer who continues to spread the word and sing the sauce’s praises.
The popular sauce is the perfect blend of sweet and heat with an emphasis on flavor. Minorcan Mike’s Datil Pepper sauce is a delicious complement to eggs, burgers, nachos, seafood, soups and dips – and also adds a tasty kick to Bloody Mary’s!
Minorcan Mike’s Datil Pepper Sauce pays homage to Mike’s heritage. He is a descendant of the Minorcans who arrived in St. Augustine in the 1700s from the island of Minorca – the same group who brought the datil pepper to our shores.
The datil business is still a family affair for the O’Steens with Mike in charge of the pepper production, his wife Cheryl and father-in-law Dave helping with all the back-end and day-to-day necessities of running a business, and Mike’s son and daughter serving as huge supporters and helping when they can. Mike plans to be a full-time datil pepper saucier in the next 18 months when he retires from his long UPS career.
While Minorcan Mike’s started with just datil pepper sauce, they launched their datil jelly just before the holidays. A datil pepper salsa is also in the works and will be available soon. Minorcan Mike’s Datil Sauce is available at a number of area retail locations including Juniper Market, Hagan Ace Hardware, Turner Ace Hardware, The Feed Store, the Seafood Shoppe, St. Augustine Pier, Ponte Vedra Inn and Club (Gourmet Shop), Tre’ Sebastian, Hammock Wine and Cheese Garden, Busy Bee, Fresh Market Anastasia and Peterbrooke Chocolatier in Ponte Vedra.