Culture

Wake Up with Nick Guillen – The Taste Maker Behind Your Next Spicy Pantry Staple TRUFF.

By ALYSSA HOLDER

What’s landed on Oprah’s Favorite Things two years in a row and is infused with truffle? TRUFF, the luxury brand of hot sauce infused with truffle and pinnacle of heat experience. Thanks to Co-founder Nick Gullien and his partner, our basic quarantine meals (talking to you Kraft mac and cheese and frozen pizza) can now sing. Cause we got hot sauce in our bag, swag. 🌶️

It’s the #1 best-selling sauce on Amazon, celebrated by celebrities, foodies and consumers all over the world. More importantly it is the ying to our yang, the golden touch to our scrambled eggs, fried chicken and ramen. 

When this Forbes 30 under 30 isn’t satisfying our taste buds, he collaborates with his partner Nick Ajluni to spread the virality of TRUFF on Instagram (@sauce). TRUFF’s account has over 100K followers including the likes of Steve Aoiki, living the #TRUFFLife. Featuring content that bridges the swagger of street wear culture with the Instagram-centric life cycle of food. 

Equally Nick spends his mornings on his creating content for @redsauce on Tik Tok while enjoying a large black cold brew. Of course.

Learn more about the Hot Sauce Innovator and his morning routine below.

Morning Routine

 

What are you listening to? Future, Weeknd, Travis Scott, Drake and a lot of Classic Hip Hip mostly 90’s

What is your typical coffee order? Large black cold brew 

Who is your dream coffee date?  Coffee in the a.m. with my girlfriend at Porto Rico Importing in NYC’s Lower East Side. 

What’s on the breakfast menu? Easy oatmeal with some almond butter and blueberries, chicken apple sausage + iced coffee! I drink Stumptown and Nespresso on the reg.

Anything else you’d like to share about what you do in the morning? Working out! It really helps kick off the mood for the day!

What’s your must-have for mornings? Running or Weight Lifting!  

Your favorite morning distraction? TikTok!

What does your absolute best morning look like? Friday mornings  – I typically wake up at 5am, workout at 5:30am. Home, shower, breakfast, coffee, jump into work before 8:30am.  

What’s your favorite way to relax?  Burke Williams!

 Hot Sauce Talk 🌶️

TRUFF White Truffle and Hot Sauce

TRUFF White Truffle and Hot Sauce

What you typically crave in 3 words: Something kinda cheesy.

What are your favorite meals? I love making a good filet mignon on the grill or cast iron. Love a good omelet.   

Lately you’re always eating? Sushi Roku on Postmates.

What is your condiment this summer? TRUFF, Hot Sauce 😉

Who or what influences your cooking? Social Media/Netflix Food Shows. Satisfying culinary skills like cooking a steak or making eggs.  

What are your favorite ways to use TRUFF? Love to give TRUFF to people. Love using TRUFF on any carbs or breakfast dish.

Career

How did you break into your industry and start your career?  I’ve always been very intrigued and passionate about Food, Social Media, Digital Marketing and E commerce. I got the handle @sauce on Instagram about five years ago when I started building a cool platform with my Co-Founder Nick Ajluni. We eventually found ourselves seeing a massive opportunity in the hot sauce market for a high-end product that was digitally native and direct to consumer. Thus, TRUFF!

What are your thoughts on breaking into the culinary space specifically in the condiment industry with competitors like Heinz and McIlhenny Company? There is a huge advantage in naivete. Not having any experience in this industry allowed us to take a very nontraditional approach which led us to disrupt an entire category. These large companies don’t understand what we are doing or how to navigate these digital waters.

What’s your favorite part of your job? Love social media, creating content and finding new ways to serve our customers and amazing staff.

What’s your favorite project completed this year? National roll out in every Whole Foods in the country was awesome!

What are you currently working on post the launch of the minis? Something very exciting is in the works that I cannot talk too much about! 😉

What’s one thing people don’t know about you? I am @redsauce on TikTok.

What does the future hold for you and TRUFF? Helping more people come together at the dinner table and sharing a warm meal. If TRUFF can just be a small fraction of that moment we have done our jobs 🙂

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