About Us

Thanks for stopping by and checking us out.  Coop's Hot Chicken was founded by 2 guys who just really love Nashville, love Hot Chicken, love hot sauce, but realized we couldn't make great Nashville Style Hot Chicken with any hot sauce on the market.  We set out to create a convenient but uncompromising solution for anyone else looking to explore and enjoy great Hot Chicken at home.  We're excited to share this unique and truly Nashville flavor profile with you, your friends, your family, your enemies, your clients, your fans, your customers, people you don't even know all that well, ...you get the idea.

Here's how we got to this point:

Justin (Coop's Co-founder):

It was the 4th of July, 2014.  My wife and I were attending the Hot Chicken Festival in our neighborhood of East Nashville, ground zero for Hot Chicken, as we had the past 4 years.  The Hot Chicken Festival had been a highlight event for us every summer.  Not only is it a blast celebrating the most exciting food item to come out of Nashville, since ...ever, but it's also cool seeing how much the Hot Chicken community has grown year over year.  This year however, excitement gave way to complete frustration.  We walked onto the grounds at the start time of the event and food lines were already 50 people deep for every chicken vendor attending.  Cluck!  So, we sweat our butts off standing in lines, and tried to enjoy the event.  In the end, it was too chaotic.  We left.  No chicken!  Plenty of disappointment, but no chicken!  Our local Hot Chicken haunts were shut down for the day, of course working the event.  I convinced myself I could, nope, I would make my own Hot Chicken at home and it would KICK ASS!

I scoured neighborhood markets looking for a convenient solution.  Surely a Nashville Hot Sauce, or some hot sauce based recipe that could get me there; something in a jar or bottle that could solve my problem, but none could be found.  And that's when I had my lightbulb moment.  I spent the rest of the day researching recipes, techniques, reading articles, blogs, stories, and really just consuming any information I could get my hands on.  The search fueled my obsession with true Nashville Style Hot Chicken and how to prepare it at home.  I tasted over a dozen different hot sauces that day paying attention to their sometimes subtle differences.  After a few trips to the grocery store and a healthy bit of trial and error, I realized hot sauce wasn't going to get me there, and then Coop's Hot Chicken Paste was born.  I ended that day with Hot Chicken on my plate better than I could have imagined.  I achieved my goal, it KICKED ASS!  It 110% stood up to the Hot Chicken I got at my favorite restaurants, and I was using grocery store deli fried chicken.  I don't say that to diminish the quality of the "godfather" Hot Chicken joints in Nashville that are responsible for this phenomenon.  Rather, I was so proud that Coop's Hot Chicken honors the flavor profile they achieve.  The next day, I went to work and pitched my friend, and now Coop's Co-Founder, Jonathan on the idea.  Apparently he was into it, and the months that followed were spent starting a business making Coop's Hot Chicken Paste and now Shake something you can put in your cart on this website and buy as soon as you finish reading this.   

Jonathan (Coop's Co-Founder):  

I’ve always been an adventurous eater, everything from ant eggs to gas station sushi, but one thing that has remained consistent is my love of extremely spicy food. As a kid, I remember having dinner with the family at a local Thai restaurant and ordering a dish as spicy as they would make it. Throughout the meal, the kitchen staff kept peeking out of the back to see if I was actually going to finish this incredibly fiery bowl of curry they had sent out. It tested my limits, but I made it through the dish. That’s when I learned how intensely spicy food can still be flavorful and delicious. Since then, I’ve always sought out the hottest dishes I can find.  I've always had collection of hot sauce at the ready. As fate would have it, the most intensely spicy and satisfying food I’ve found is right here in my backyard - Nashville, TN.

Nashville Style Hot Chicken takes heat to a level most people haven’t experienced while remaining full of interesting flavors beyond the punch in the face you get from the heat. A funny thing happens with Hot Chicken the first time you try it that I've just never experienced with hot sauces. It happened to me and it’s happened to almost every Hot Chicken fan I've talked to. Sweating from the heat mid-meal, trying desperately not to touch your face with your spice covered hands and getting close to the point of regretting eating something so hot, the pain gives way to this weird need to consume more Hot Chicken. That’s exactly what I did and what I've done ever since.

Justin and I have known each other and worked together for years and share a passion for Nashville Style Hot Chicken. When he brought me the idea for Coop's I was curious, but skeptical. Then, I tasted that first batch on some left over chicken tenders. It was awesome!  I couldn’t believe how authentic the flavors were. I could have easily been fooled in to thinking these leftover chicken tenders had actually come from one of my favorite Hot Chicken restaurants in Nashville.  Shockingly, it had come out of a microwave in the break room at work. I had to get on board and see what we could make of this. Some hard work, a lot of paperwork, some uncharted territory successfully navigated, and here we are. Whether you are a hot chicken fanatic who wants to experiment in your own kitchen, a Nashville ex-pat looking for a taste of home or just someone who wants to try Nashville Style Hot Chicken to see what all the fuss is about, Coop's Hot Chicken Paste and Shake were made for you. We’re bringing Hot Chicken in to the home kitchen. Take the plunge, buy a jar or two and let’s see where this can go.

 

Thanks,

Justin, Jonathan, and the Coop's family

 

PS- If browsing turns to buying, and we hope it does, take pictures, share your story of how you do your Coop's.  You can of course email us.  Otherwise, find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and soon Youtube.  Post pics, videos, recipes, stories, ideas, etc.  Help us spread the word by spreading yours.  With you, we're a brand, a story, something that can grow.  Without you, we're 2 guys with a lot of Hot Chicken to eat.