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Entrepreneurial Couples: Michele Northrup & Tom Was

Posted By LocalShops1, Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Michele Northrup and Tom Was started their saucy venture from a garden project at their sons' school. The vegetable of the week was carrots, and Michele created a batch of kickin' carrot based habanero & brought it in for the students to try. The students & staff urged them to begin bottling the product. So the couple took the leap & invested enough to create one batch. Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces was born.

"It was either going to work or we were going to give everyone we know hot sauce for Christmas!" Michele says. "Almost seven years later, we have won over 50 National Awards!"

What's the secret to not killing each other when you spend so much time together?

"I think the key to working together is to recognize each other's strengths when sharing responsibilities," Michele says. "Tom is really great with finances and I love the recipes and marketing side of the company. We both appreciate each other more knowing we can count on each other. Besides, when Tom does get on my list, I have been known to add a few extra peppers to the pot!"

Best part of working together?

"I think knowing we both have the same goal has strengthened our relationship," Michele says. "Creating and growing a business together over the years is a great thing to share with the person that you love. You get the share the highs & lows and get thru them all together. Creating hot sauce over the past seven years has really brought some added heat to our relationship. We wouldn't change a saucy thing about working together!"


Intensity Academy is at 4522 West Village Drive Ste 448, Tampa. Michele and Tom can be reached at 813. 299,3600.


Meet more couples who work together in our Entrepreneurial Couples series.  

About LocalShops1

LocalShops1 is a coalition of hundreds of independently owned  businesses and tens of thousands of energetic shoppers with the mission of advocating, promoting and offering support services to companies throughout Tampa Bay.  Founded in August 2008, LocalShops1 is the region's most active voice for small businesses.


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