Columbia native and Harrisburg resident, Kimberly Ham, is winning awards with her 5Gen Salsa Products. 5Gen is just as it sounds, a recipe handed down for at least 5 generations. Over the years the family's homemade ketchup and chili sauce recipe graced tables at community meals, gatherings of family and friends, and eventually Mizzou tail gate parties. Now it leaves its mark on Mid-Missouri. You can find 5Gen in local grocery stores and even in the VIP lounge at Roots and Blues. The City of Columbia Convention Service includes 5Gen products in their welcome basket making this a real flagship product for Mid-Missouri.
The products are gluten free and all natural having only 6 ingredients; tomatoes, onions, cider vinegar, sugar, salt and spices. They are made locally. The product line consists of: Original, a mild salsa, Chunky, a medium salsa, Gourmet Ketchup, Bloody Mary Mix.
The products are very versatile. Since originally made to be a condiment, they can be eaten with a variety of dishes including scrambled eggs, grilled vegies, baked chicken, stuffed peppers and pork chop. The Bloody Mary mix, while a wonderful drink base, can be used as a base for vegetable soup, beef stew, or chili. The proprietary mix of spices makes 5Gen products unforgettable.
This Spring, 5Gen Products, put its hat in the ring to see how it measured up to its competition and the results have been outstanding. This little Harrisburg Missouri Company has really gotten a chance to show off its stuff. It took high awards in both the contests it entered.
This Year’s World Hot Sauce Awards, http://worldhotsauceawards.com held in Lafayette Louisiana, saluted the best of the hot sauce genre. In 2016 they had over 1000 entries from 161 brands representing 14 countries and 34 States within the USA. 5Gen entered three products and they all placed well within their divisions.
*1st Place in the Ketchup Division.
*2nd Place in Salsa Medium Division
*3rd Place in Bloody Mary Mix Division
The 2016 SIP Awards is an International Consumer
tasting spirts award. www.sipawards.com SIP uses blind testing by consumer judges to level the playing field between established brands and newcomers on the field. They have been giving awards since 2009. They are the largest international recognized consumer spirit and mixer competition. This year they had 403 brands and held their competition at the Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach, CA. 5Gen entered the Bloody Mary and it did really well. Silver in the Bloody Mary Division
History of 5Gen Products:
The recipe for 5Gen Salsa started with Kim’s Great, Great Grand Mother Elizabeth Huston who said the recipe came from her grandmother. The Family, that settled in San Antonio Texas, came from German and Irish Decent arriving in the US in the early 1800’s. The family recipe for this sauce has stayed true, having been made throughout the years in the same tradition as today.
5Gen’s migration to Mid-Missouri was a typical American Story. Kim’s mother Bette, who was an Army brat living in many places nationally and internationally over years. She moved to Missouri to attend Stephens College. Like many people who come to this area for school, she remained a resident. She began teaching Kim how to make the family recipe at a young age. All year they would keep soda bottles for canning. Of course it started with loads of fresh homegrown tomatoes and onions. The family would cook all day and make a massive batch of sauce. They would fill the bottles which they would seal with a cork and paraffin. The bottles of sauce were then shared among the family. At times boxes were mailed to relatives in Washington and Pennsylvania.
Over the years, no matter where the family settled people made community over food. When Kim Settled in Harrisburg, she began making the family recipe once again. She would bring it to fellowship dinners, BBQ’s community events and tail gate parties. When she would be invited places, people would ask if she would be bringing the lovely salsa. People wanted the recipe and suggested it should be bottled. With forethought Kim did not want to give out the recipe, she thought someday, she might dive in and make a business of her recipe.
Building the 5Gen Salsa:
The dream of the company began in 2009, Kim started to think seriously about starting a business. Kim worked full time at Coyote Hill Children’s Home www.Coyotehill.org as the CFO and office administrator. However, Kim did not have the time or funds to really do justice to the product. She started taking classes at the Small Business and Technology Development Center in Columbia. She gathered the skills and contacts needed to start 5 Gen LLC.
In 2010 Bette helped Kim with some seed money to get her first batch of sauce into production. In 2011 the company started in distribution with the goal of having the first batch on shelves by August 2011. The first store to carry 5Gen was the C&S Grocery in Harrisburg, MO where Kim lives.
Kim worked hard to get her products out to the public. First she worked with Agri-Mo to get a bar code set up. She was invited to her first sampling opportunity in the Made in MO building at the MO State Fair. The 5Gen Products widened the market to Hy-Vee in Columbia, Jeff City and the Lake of the Ozarks in 2011.
People really liked the products and began to buy them at their local stores. Kim and Bette enjoyed doing product demo’s, as they loved sharing their story and watching people enjoy their products. Over time Kim and Bette, met people that would invite them to different events; Made-in-Missouri store, Wine walk in Booneville, the Pumpkin Festival in Hartsburg, the Kings Daughters Holiday Festival, Roots and Blues VIP Lounge. Whenever someone tasted the salsa and makes that yummy face it would filled their hearts.
The product line expanded in 2012 when Kim's bottler, Ozark Bottling, brought something to her attention. He was pouring off four gallons of spicy liquid from the batch to achieve the thickness of salsa desired and asked her if she knew this by-product could be Bloody Mary Mix. They tasted it and immediately thought of a nice Spicy Bloody Mary, a favorite tailgating drink. They bottled 68 quarters in mason jars and took it to the Kings Daughters Holiday Festival to try it out. The Bloody Mary Mix sold out in just three hours.
The now famous award winning Blood Mary Mix represents over 40% of 5Gen’s product sales. Kim offered the product to her existing retail locations and they scooped it up. Kim changed the bottle to a more conventional drink bottle in 2015. This local Mid-Missouri Bloody Mary Mix has grown to be 2nd to a national brands at several locations.
The next product to join the 5Gen family was their Ketchup. The ketchup came out in the Fall of 2014 and started to gain a following. It now represents 14% of the company sales, and like the other 5Gen products is winning awards for its excellence.
This little homemade Mid-Missouri recipe has been passed down by the women of this family for generations. Now it is available for everyone to have and enjoy, a family heirloom and a great example of flavor and community over time.
Locations carrying 5 Gen Products:
At this time 5Gen products can be found at the following local retail outlets and fine eating establishments:
Hy-Vee in Columbia, and Lake of the Ozarks
Dierbergs at the Lake of the Ozarks
Schnuck’s in Columbia
Clover’s Stores in Columbia
Macadoodles in Columbia
H-Town café in Harrisburg
KP Processing in Harrisburg
Gnomies in Harrisburg
Wood Hat Spirits at New Florence Exit
C&R Supermarket in Fayette
Contact and Media:
We would love to hear from you and share the 5Gen story and products. Please feel free to contact us for more info.
Kim Ham 573-823-8833