Published: July 25, 2022 By

All of Sauce Leopard's products.

After losing work in the music industry during the pandemic, Shaun Goodwin (Mktg’13) opened Sauce Leopard, a Denver-based hot sauce business. Sauce Leopard was featured on season 18 of the YouTube talk show, Hot Ones, which features celebrities as they eat saucy chicken wings and answer questions. Sauce Leopard sauces are available in select stores across the U.S. and available online. Photograph of Shaun Goodwin.

What was your favorite part of your CU Boulder experience?

I met a lot of people with similar interests to me. If it weren't for them, I don't think I would have had a career in music. We spent most of our time jamming Neil Young songs in the living room of our house. I also really loved being right next to the mountains. I was able to go fishing or snowboarding often and it was the perfect way to take a break from school.

What sparked the idea of creating Sauce Leopard? Why hot sauce? 

I've always been super passionate about cooking and sauce making became a hobby right after college when I moved to Denver. When the pandemic hit, I lost other work in the music and service industries. I had started a concert promotion company in 2015 and spent several years booking music festivals, but I was looking for a new creative way to monetize my crafts once concerts looked unlikely for a while. My mission became to create a condiment company that looks and tastes different from almost anything else in the market. I think we've done a pretty good job of doing so!

Tell us about some of the products you’ve created.

One of our flagship sauces is the Colfax Killer. Colfax Avenue is the main street that runs east to west through Denver, and at 50 miles, is known as the longest commercial street in America. I started the business at my previous house on East Colfax, and some of the peppers that went into the first official batches were grown in our garden there. The sauce is an ode to the rich history of this street, and its role in my life during my 20s. The Colfax Killer is an upper-medium heat tropical habanero sauce and has already won several international awards for its flavor.

Sauce Leopard's Seventh Reaper. The sauce featured on Hot Ones is The Seventh Reaper, a red chimichurri Carolina reaper sauce. We created this sauce in collaboration with design agency Seven Designs for their seventh anniversary. Their founder, Connor Lock, designed the label on it. 

Where can we find Sauce Leopard? 

Sauce Leopard is available in nearly 100 retail locations in several states. For those in Boulder, grab some at Lucky's Market in North Boulder or Peppercorn on the Pearl Street Mall. Denver folks can grab them at most Natural Grocers locations. Visit to find a store near you.

What future goals do you have for the company?

We plan to be in most major super markets across the U.S. and a household name in the condiment industry. We also plan to be much more than a sauce company, staying involved with music, skateboarding and the preservation of endangered leopards, something I’m passionate about.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We ship our products anywhere, so be sure to visit our website if your fridge looks a little bland!

Photos courtesy Shaun Goodwin