Meet the Producers -
Fire Island

For any newcomers, who are you and what do you do?

We are Fire Island, the only Manx Chilli Farm operating as part of Red Mie Farm in Ballaugh. We sell Fresh Chillies direct to customers, retailers and restaurants and produce our own range of Hot Sauces, Hot Honey, Dried Chillies and other related products all only using our own chillies, to our own recipes by ourselves. We have a curated range of 45 different types of chilli plant from all corners of the world, representing just about every cuisine you can think of ranging in heat from mild to world record holding…

When did you establish your business?

Red Mie has been in existence in its current form since 2019 and after slowly building the Chilli Farm aspect over the last 3 years it has grown to the stage where we decided it needed to operate under its own separate name. Coinciding this with the Food & Drink Festival felt really appropriate and fitting with the 2021 event being our very first test of the market appetite for chillies.

What inspired you to begin?

We love cooking and are inspired by different foods from all over the world and chilli peppers are a key ingredient in so many of the dishes we enjoy. They’re not just about the heat, there’s so much variety not only in the ways they can be used but the flavours, from smoky to sweet to tropical and being able to grow them right here on the Isle of Man means you can locally access types and tastes that are usually incredibly hard to find.

How has your business grown since then?

Apart from debuting the Fire Island name, we have extended our range of sauces from 1 to 5 with the occasional seasonal special and the fresh chillies will be available in Robinsons as well as via ourselves and the Douglas Foodie Market. We are constantly increasing the numbers of restaurants and food producers we supply so in a lot of ways this is only the start of this particular chapter in the Red Mie story!

Where are you based and what does that community mean to you?

We are based in Ballaugh in the west of the island and the farm itself is an integral part of the community, operating farm days not only for families but for schools, community groups, charities and tourists. We are passionate about regenerative agricultural practices, food security and other local food producers, and we are always excited when we see new ventures appear. It’s easy to take for granted the range of produce and creativity available right on our doorstep, but there’s genuine goodwill amongst us all and a desire to see everyone do well and succeed.

What does the Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival mean to you?

It will always be special to us as it was where the whole concept of Fire Island was born! We can remember vividly that first event, not knowing what to expect and being blown away by the reaction to the Chilli Farm and our products. It is genuinely one of the highlights of our calendar. It also showcases the ever increasing diversity of food options available which is really inspiring to us and you’ll always discover a new business or product or something you never even realised was obtainable here.

Which other local producer(s) are you most looking forward to seeing this year?

It’s always nice to see what everyone is doing and what new things they’re bringing but we look forward to seeing Berries, we have been chatting with Smoky Sams and it’s their first year so you might see a collaboration, and we can’t wait to try their Pastrami, Manx Gourmet Mushrooms too (their Shitakes’ are delicious as is the pate). Tradition dictates there will be considerable amounts of Davison’s Ice Cream consumed of course, also a visit to Street Kitchen is always in order!

What’s on the horizon for your business?

More chillies! We’ll be expanding our growing area, adding online sales via a new website and exporting our sauces as well as making sure they’re more easily available on island.

What is your signature dish/product?

We’d usually say our Original Hot Sauce as it was our first chilli product, then the Lemon and Herb is so different to anything else available anywhere and always sells out, but if we had to say one, it’s the Hot Honey - it’s absolutely amazing and 100% Manx.

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