After 27 years of selling hot sauce on one of Austin’s most iconic streets, Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Shop is closing its doors at the end of September.
The store at 618 E. Sixth St. started in 1993 as a restaurant selling tamales called O’Shuck’s, but since 2003, owner Brian Rush, whose mother was the original owner, changed the business to focus solely on hot sauces. Customers came from all over the world to check out the store, whose shelves were lined with hundreds of brands of hot sauces, salsas and other condiments, including a line of Tears of Joy products.
After trying to keep the business alive during the coronavirus pandemic, Rush says that the time has come to close the retail store to focus on online sales.
"Thank you for keeping us in business for so long," he told supporters in an Instagram video last week. "Twenty-seven years was a great run. I really appreciate all the support and love over the years. We're sad to leave, but it's time to go."
Rush says that the website (tearsofjoysauces.com) will be the place to order some of the many hot sauces, salsas and other spicy products that he’s become known for over the years. Eventually, he hopes to get the Tears of Joy brand into grocery stores.
UPDATE: Rush says this week that his landlords have extended his contract through the end of September.