Hot new spot to shop: Grocery store specializing in spicy foods opens up in Sanford

Spice is Nice run by Dino Ferri, owner of Hotter Than El Handcrafted Hot Sauces

Some of the shelves at Spice is Nice International Heat Market (Spice is Nice)

SANFORD, Fla – The owner of Hotter Than El Handcrafted Hot Sauces, Dino Ferri, is taking his love of heat in a new direction by opening a specialty grocery store in Sanford focused on spicy foods from around the world.


Ferri opened Spice is Nice International Heat Market, 106 S. Palmetto Ave., in downtown Sanford.

“It is great to have this concept of mine come to life,” Ferri, said in a news release. “After years in the hot sauce business, I am excited to expand on that and be able to bring what I love and know to the community!”

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Ferri started Hotter Than El in 2015 after losing his job.

“I lost my job and my career — thought, ‘Well now’s a good time to give it a shot,” Ferri said on the Florida Foodie podcast.

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Ferri is also the former CEO of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Garden, a position he took on after starting his hot sauce company. He resigned from the position in the spring to run Spice Is Nice after announcing he was leaving the zoo in September.

Hotter Than El's lineup of products (Hotter Than El)

Ferri sauces have won awards and have also been featured in two seasons of the internet talk show “Hot Ones.”

Ferri sells his sauces at Spice is Nice, along with sauces, spice rubs, pasta and drinks from all around the world, according to the release.

The business is open Wednesday thru Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.