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Food & Drink

Richmond husband-and-wife duo finding success with garlic chili oil crunch condiment

The duo launched SIJANG, a hot garlic chili oil crunch condiment, in November 2023. The product has quickly gained popularity and expanded distribution in Richmond.

Trevor Dickerson

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A local RVA husband-and-wife team, Chris and Kaitlyn Fitzner, are peddling a new product in what has become a growing category – garlic chili oil crunch condiments.

The duo launched SIJANG, a hot garlic chili oil crunch condiment, in November 2023. The product has quickly gained popularity and expanded distribution in Richmond.

Drawing inspiration from various chili oil-based condiments around the world, including Mexican salsa machas, Syrian Aleppo chili oils, and Calabrian chili oils, the couple developed a unique product combining their culinary expertise and passion for bold flavors.

Initially, Chris and Kaitlyn started selling 6-ounce jars of SIJANG on Amazon. Their product quickly gained traction, selling over 500 jars in just two months and earning the Amazon’s Choice badge. This early success encouraged them to transition to retail distribution in the RVA area.

With backgrounds in catering and over a decade of restaurant experience, Chris and Kaitlyn aimed to create a versatile chili oil condiment. SIJANG uses all-natural, low-calorie ingredients without preservatives or added sugar, making it KETO-friendly. They plan to expand SIJANG with a line of gourmet sauces.

After months of development, the Fitzners perfected their chili crunch recipe, featuring crunchy bits of garlic, onion, sesame seeds, and a combination of Mexican chilies, rounded out with umami from shiitake mushrooms. The oil used in SIJANG’s chili crunch is expeller-pressed, ensuring no solvents or additives are used. The product is shelf-stable and doesn’t require refrigeration, with 6-ounce jars retailing for $9.99-$15 depending on the location.

The name SIJANG means market in Korean, reflecting the global inspiration behind the product. SIJANG has evolved from a catering company serving fusion Korean-Mexican tacos to hosting live art battles with local artists, and even creating Brazilian Jiu Jitsu patches. The brand represents Chris and Kaitlyn’s diverse interests in food, design, music, and movies, taking inspiration from cultures worldwide.

SIJANG is now available in seven Richmond locations: Ellwood Thompson’s, Good Foods Grocery, Capital Chips Fine Foods & Gifts, Libbie Market, Perk! Coffee & Lunchbox, Outpost Richmond, and The Market at 25th.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.