SNOHOMISH, Wash. — There's something spicy simmering in Snohomish.
"I've got to have the goggles to protect my eyes," Wakki Sauce founder Desiree Agwu said as she stirred up a steamy batch.
It's the sauce that makes wings take flight.
"Whoo! That's good," Agwu exclaimed as she took a taste test.
Agwu first cooked up the idea for her signature concoction more than 20 years ago.
"Taken a long time to get it this way," she said.
When the Atlanta native moved to Edmonds in the late '90s, she missed the flavors of home.
"I kind of put all of that in there," she said.
She worked to perfect this hot combination of Caribbean and Southern seasonings for more than a decade, then served up the finished product to family and friends.
"And my brother said, 'You have to sell this! You have to sell this!' People eat it on everything. Tofu, cauliflower, snap peas. Tastes good on almost anything. Even rocks," she joked.
Agwu was inspired to complete an educational course in small business, borrow her son's nickname, Wakki, and bring Wakki Sauce to the masses.
"I'm very honored that people actually send me emails and they tell me, 'I love your sauce.' I just get full of emotion every time they tell me," Agwu said.
Now she brews up and bottles small batches of the coveted blend with some help from her sister, Tammy Daniels, and their friend, Crystal Brunson.
"We get together on the weekend and it's like girls' time," Brunson said. "We talk. We laugh."
Daniels added, "Dancing is a regular part of this."
Life hasn't always been a party for the Wakki Sauce inventor. Agwu grew up with a learning disability.
"When I was little I never thought I'd be able to achieve anything," she said.
But now, she works with special ed students as a teaching assistant, sharing her own life lessons of patience and perseverance.
"I push them, because I have been there," she said.
Turns out some dreams can be cooked up, bottled, and shared with the world.
"Anything that you want to do you can do it!" she said.
You can purchase Wakki Sauce at local farmers markets and from Double DD Meats in Mountlake Terrace.