The Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Story
Way back in 1988, Joy Burleson got the idea to start a gourmet tamale business called O'Shucks Tamales while cooking in her home kitchen with her husband Jerry. Joy soon began making a variety of the tasty delicacies in a commercial kitchen in south Austin, where they sold as fast as Joy and Jerry could make them. In 1991, O'Shucks re-located to the Travis County Farmers Market in north Austin, and Joy's son Brian Rush moved down from Colorado to help. It became a favorite eatery for hungry shoppers as well as a production kitchen for the tamales to be sold in a few local grocery stores.
In 1993, Joy and Jerry found a new site in downtown Austin's world-famous 6th Street district. Though the original intention was to mass-produce the tamales for grocery stores, the location and building was the perfect place to open a small restaurant as well. For a few years, O'Shucks Tamales served healthy, delicious, quick lunches to downtown workers and tourists.
In 1997, O'Shucks acquired a large, green shelf and filled it up with hot sauces to put next to the front entrance. Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Shop was born with this first shelf. The sight of all these sauces stopped passers-by in their tracks who just had to come in to investigate. Soon, the hot sauce sales rivaled that of the tamales. Tables were soon replaced with shelves to accommodate more and more products. The sauce business did so well that in October of 2002, Joy and Brian decided to focus all their efforts on the hot sauce shop.
Tears of Joy Hot Sauce shop is a true piece of Austin soul - welcoming visitors to this great town, turning the world on to this glorious slice of culinary culture, and constantly promoting great new products to make the world a little more spicy.