Entrepreneurial Newark high school students create hot sauce and give back to their community

Newark is getting hot — and it’s not just about rising temperatures.

Hot sauces made by business-savvy high school students are available at local farmers markets. This is a new partnership that will help educate young minds and provide healthy food to our communities.

The farmers market at the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center was packed even though the temperature reached 90 degrees. The weekly market has its own greenhouse on site. It has filled a void in Newark.

“Newark Beth Israel has been committed to healthy eating in Newark City, considered a food desert,” said Darrell Terry, President and CEO of Newark Beth Israel.

As of this week, the hospital also serves as a hands-on, real-life classroom for entrepreneurial high school students.

“Our club was founded with the idea that we want kids on the West Side to know how to start a business,” says incoming junior Roshaughn Barker.

Barker and classmate Shamar Richards are members of the West Side Avenue Business Club at Newark’s West Side High School.

“We launched a mail-order site. Kids started and maintained it and sell the products they make there,” says business teacher Mark Mason.

One of the first products was the Rider Heat Hot Sauce, which is now sold at the Newark Beth Israel Farmers Market.

“We have poblanos, chili and jalapeños,” says Richards.

Students create, market and sell their own products. Hot sauce was already a hit from day one. Students say they are thrilled to be able to participate, even during the summer holidays, while giving back to the community.

“All-natural ingredients, by the community, for the community,” says Richards.

The money you earn on your produce goes back to your greenhouse. Proceeds from hot sauce sales go back to student entrepreneurs and their clubs.

The Newark Beth Israel Farmers Market is open every Thursday from 11am to 3pm through Thanksgiving week.

The West Side Avenue Business Club sells other products along with Hot Sauce on their website.

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