Grocery store specializing in spicy foods opens in Sanford


SANFORD, Florida – Hotter Than El Handcrafted Hot Sauces owner Dino Ferri is taking his love of heat in a new direction by opening a specialty grocery store in Sanford focused on spicy foods from around the world.


Ferri opened Spice is Nice International Heat Market, 106 S. Palmetto Ave., in downtown Sanford.

“It’s great to have my concept come to life,” Ferri said in a press release. “After years in the hot sauce business, I’m excited to grow this and be able to bring what I love and know to the community!”

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Ferri started Hotter Than El in 2015 after losing his job.

“I lost my job and my career – I thought, ‘Well, now is a good time to give it a shot,'” Ferri said on the Florida Foodie podcast.

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Ferri is also the former CEO of Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Garden, a position he held after starting his hot sauce company. He stepped down from his post in the spring to run Spice Is Nice after announcing he was leaving the zoo in September.

The Hotter Than El product line (Warmer than El)

Ferri’s sauces have won awards and have also been featured on two seasons of the Internet talk show “Hot Ones.”

Ferri sells her sauces at Spice is Nice, along with sauces, spices, pastes and drinks from around the world, according to the release.

The company is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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