We had the good fortune of connecting with Miles Soboroff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Miles, what is the most important factor behind your success?
MS: The most important factor behind our early success is the Datil Pepper. Our business is built around this rare pepper with unique history, heat and flavor. Not to say the rest of the work hasn’t also been critical to give us a chance at success, but the most important thing for us has been finding something that actually adds value and enjoyment to peoples’ lives, even in a very small way. This pepper is a local legend in St. Augustine, Florida, but largely unknown elsewhere, so we just wanted to share something that made us happy and made our meals better.
PM: I think we also as a group of three founders all work great together as a team. Everyone knows their role and areas of expertise and it’s really lead to great team cohesion.
What should our readers know about your business?
PM: At Zab’s we make and sell hot sauces which focus on highlighting one key ingredient, the Datil Pepper. We are excited to bring this truly unique and rare ingredient to a new audience and hope to enhance people’s lives through the simple pleasure of enjoying your meals. As with starting any business almost nothing was simple. From regulatory challenges to learning how to scale production there have been hurdles at every step, but these hurdles can be overcome with creative problem solving and perseverance. Our goal is simply to spread our love of the Datil Pepper.
MS: What PJ said. We’re lucky to have been introduced to this awesome pepper which is beloved around St. Augustine, Florida, where it has been grown for 200+ years. We fell in love with the unique, slow burning heat it offers, and the interesting history behind it. From there we just thought it would be cool to try our best to bring more awareness to it, and make it something that people can connect around by sharing meals, recipes, stories and experiences.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
PM: For me any visit would revolve around food. I think what is uniquely great about LA are the neighborhoods and the range of food available. So I would definitely go for Jitlada in Thai town or Asanebo which is the best amongst many great choices for Sushi in Studio City.
MS: I think the best thing about Los Angeles is that it’s so dynamic. People from all over the world have converged here, so it’s kind of an All Star Team of cultural influences and people that we get to enjoy and learn from. For me the most fun ways to experience LA are through food, sports, and people. I’d probably go with a Dodger game, Clippers game, and LAFC game (still never been myself). And for food, there’s so much to explore but some favorites are: Ayara Thai, Monte Albán for some Oaxacan food, Cha Cha Chicken for jerk chicken anything, El Abajeño for some of my favorite tacos, Mitsuwa Market, Maury’s or Yeastie Boys Bagels, Nate N Al’s, Harold and Belle’s, Yang Chow, Darya, Taeem, anything in Little Tokyo, Jordan’s Cafe in Watts (I think sadly closed now), Cafe Buna for breakfast… My favorite restaurants, Soot Bull Jeep for Korean BBQ and I would probably want to get in a 3 par golf round at Los Feliz, and a walk on the LA river ending up at Wax Paper for my favorite sandwiches. Might need longer than a week.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
MS: Too many to name: my big family, my friends from all kinds of backgrounds who have each taught me something different. I think confidence is built through a series of relationships, opportunities and experiences. But most importantly PJ and Josh, my business partners. They’re great friends, and also offer completely complementary skill sets to my own. And of course my fiancé, Shana, and our dog (and inspiration), Zab.
PM: My family and friends who have all been supportive of the crazy idea to make hot sauce and of course Miles and Josh who I am proud to call friends and partners.
Danielle G. Adams