At 16 years old, Julen Ucar can already call himself a hot sauce entrepreneur.
Every Wednesday, the teenager heads to Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach, where he makes two flavors – Off the Charts Spicy and Non-Verbal Herbal – of his special condiment.
The restaurant uses them on two of their most popular dishes, and also sells bottles for fans to take home.
So far, so awesome.
Or, more accurately, ausome.
The punny name stems from the fact Julen has autism, and that part of the profits from his sauce go towards helping other children with the condition.
Staff at the restaurant are full of praise for Julen, his sauce, and his ambition.
Executive chef Danny Allen said, “We work with him and see what he does and how somebody with autism can be great at something is really amazing.”
General manager Barbara Holder added, “”I think it’s fantastic to be able to give back to the community and to promote people like Julen and be able to make things work for them.”
Julen’s mother, who helped set up the partnership after meeting the restaurant’s owner, hopes her so can be an example to others.
Julen himself certainly seems to have things figured out.
His immediate plans are to continue making the sauce, much to the joy of the restaurant and their customers, and to go to OCC to join the culinary arts program.
It’s young entrepreneurship at its most ausome, and you can support it and the charity it helps by checking out Julen’s website and grabbing some sauce for yourself!