Destrehan businessman hopes sauce helps saves the coast
Richard Ruffino holds a bottle of “Help Save Our Coast and Way of Life” hot sauce.
Richard Ruffino, the president of food brokerage company R. Ruffino Enterprises, was watching news footage of the oil spill when he noticed the oil-soaked wildlife.
“After I saw that footage, I never really heard much about the effects of the oil on the aquatic wildlife and I decided to do something to try to help,” Ruffino said. “So I came up with the idea of selling a hot sauce.”
Ruffino developed the habanero pepper sauce and is having it bottled for him in St. Martinville.
“This is a good sauce,” he said. “It’s a habanero sauce, so it really adds some flavor.”
The label and concept of the “Help Save Our Coast and Way of Life” sauce was approved by the Audubon Nature Institute. Ruffino then set about getting the sauce into stores around the area.
Now, the bottles can be purchased at Cashio’s Food Villa, Big River Food and Fuel, Zerinque’s Seafood, The Seafood Pot, Thrift Village Drugs, Anthony’s Hardware, Rouses, and Jacob’s Andouille.
“We feel that not everyone can send a $25, $50 or a $100 donation to help this cause, but the above mentioned businesses have given everyone the opportunity to participate and donate a couple of dollars,” Ruffino said. “This makes them feel like a real part and solution to the oil spill cleanup effort.”
The price of the hot sauce varies from store to store, and Ruffino said the price ranges from $2.99 to $4.
He has already sold nearly 3,000 bottles.
“Each of these stores is really doing their part to support wildlife cleanup efforts,” Ruffino said. “I salute them for stepping up and making a real change in our community, state and Gulf Coast region.”
Ruffino said his goal is for every retail outlet in the surrounding area to sell the sauce, and for every restaurant and deli to have the hot sauce on their tables.
All of the donated proceeds will be used by the Audubon Nature Institute to ensure rescued marine mammals and sea turtles receive the best care and treatment before they are re-released.
“As the situation unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico, there is growing concern about the lingering negative impact on native wildlife,” Laurie Conkerton, Audubon Nature Institutes senior vice president for development, said.
“Audubon Nature Institute is proud to be a part of the incredible team working around the clock to rescue, rehabilitate, and release animals while providing long term care for the marine life living in this unique habitat.”
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