Business Spotlight: Doolie’s African Hot Sauce

September 28, 2017

Doolie’s African salsa contains a unique signature blend of fresh, local ingredients including coconut, jalapeños, and lemon.

Doolie’s salsa is based on his grandmother’s recipe he brought with him from Somalia. He began making his salsa-style hot sauce to serve at home for friends and family. A batch of extra sauce sent home with a friend who owned a restaurant resulted in Doolie’s first sale when that friend called the next day asking to buy another container to serve to customers.

Doolie initially grew his business through personal contacts, along the way connecting with business people who provided new resources and informal mentoring.  He participated in our East African Business Basics Course in 2013. He then enrolled in our Marketing and Sales courses and Matched Savings Account program. We’ve also helped Doolie navigate the wholesale packaged food market, negotiate contracts, and hone his business pitch.

Today Doolie’s hot sauce can be found in a number of area restaurants such as Anthony’s on Pier 66, Salty’s on Alki, I Love My GFF food truck, and the Hyatt Regency Bellevue as well as in more than a dozen grocery stores and specialty shops. Doolie has also been featured in Seattle Refined and the West Seattle Herald.

“In small business, no one really has your back,” Doolie says. “It’s good to know I have Ventures as a resource. I can talk to the staff here about anything. That’s a blessing, and it feels like it’s meant to be.”

Find Doolie’s at

  • Thrifway in West Seattle
  • New Seasons on Mercer Island
  • Central Co-op
  • Haggen in Woodinville
  • Ken’s Market in Greenwood & Queen Anne
  • Stockbox Grocery on First Hill
  • And more