JetBlue Spices Up Its ‘BlueBud’ Business Mentoring Program With The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce

Serrano Pepper Product Grown in New York City
Aug 15, 2016 10:05 AM ET

NEW YORK, August 15, 2016 /3BL Media/ – JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU), New York's Hometown Airline®, recently announced The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce as the next winner of its “BlueBud"  business mentoring program. BlueBud (buddies + budding new companies) focuses on pioneering food companies and taps into JetBlue’s goal to offer more nutritious and flavorful onboard food options.

BlueBud was designed as a way for JetBlue to connect with diverse suppliers starting with environmentally and socially conscious companies and start-ups that have similar responsible practices. BlueBud helps feed the airline’s pipeline of sustainable and innovative food products. Small companies learn what it takes to break into the aviation catering space while remaining true to their social mission.

The recipe for The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce was created by acclaimed chef King Phojanakong, a native of New York City. Not only are the serrano peppers green, with each purchase the Bronx is a little bit more green. More than 40 Bronx greenmarket farms and community gardens grow these peppers.  Each bottle sold directly supports these gardens and farmers, helps to revitalize the Bronx’s budding economy and asserts the borough as the next big culinary destination for local food in New York.

“We agree with a certain pop star, hot sauce should always be in your bag,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, JetBlue’s head of sustainability.  “BlueBud supports food products made right here in New York. The program connects innovation with impact and our mission of inspiring humanity with budding companies. The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce lives this purpose by sourcing their peppers directly from local community gardens and greenmarket farms.”

Throughout the fall, The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce will participate in a variety of initiatives with JetBlue which may include taste test events and a tour of an airline catering facility to better understand how food (literally) gets onboard. The hot sauce brand will receive special access to JetBlue’s business leaders and the airline’s distinct product development culture, as well as valuable industry insights from JetBlue teams including strategic sourcing, purchasing, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, communications, marketing, brand and onboard product.

”Being selected by JetBlue is an incredibly meaningful development opportunity for a young company like ours,” said John A. Crotty, Senior VP at The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce. “The elements required to grow a small community-oriented business like ours will be greatly enhanced by mentoring from JetBlue. Their commitment to helping us grow will produce stronger more vibrant community gardens where they are needed most.”

“As one of New York’s leading airlines, JetBlue’s partnership with The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce will have a meaningful impact on our borough by supporting more than 40 greenmarket farms and community gardens that supply serrano peppers to this local small business,” said New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, representing the 83rd Assembly District in the northeast Bronx. “The partnership is also great for our state. Small businesses make up 98 percent of the businesses in New York State and employ more than half of the state’s private sector work force, so having a large business like JetBlue support a small business is great for our state’s economy.”

"There is no matching the talent or diversity of our homegrown companies, and that's especially true when it comes to food. Firms like The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce create good jobs right here in the five boroughs. JetBlue is giving them an incredible opportunity to grow their business and access new customers. We are thrilled to see this kind of innovative partnership take off," said New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Alicia Glen.

“The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce is a great product that was designed to help local gardeners showcase the diverse flavors of our borough and their communities,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The partnership between JetBlue and The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce is a great way to highlight the amazing efforts of so many individuals who are committed to our community gardens, and all the great things that are happening in our great borough.”  

The first winner of JetBlue’s BlueBud program was Hot Bread Kitchen  – a social enterprise bakery based in Harlem. The bakery creates economic opportunity through careers in food, through a paid on-the-job training in bread baking for foreign-born and immigrant women. After a year of mentorship, the bakery learned what it takes to partner with an airline, and then pitched their product to JetBlue. Although being part of BlueBud is no guarantee to making it onboard, JetBlue was impressed by Hot Bread Kitchen’s pitch and introduced the bakery’s challah rolls onto its Mint brunch menu. Mint is JetBlue’s unique take on premium service and is available on select routes.

A Taste of the Bronx – The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce can be used to spice up a variety dishes. One of Chef King Phojanaking’s favorite recipes is Bronx Royal Sauce. For more information and recipes or to purchase The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce, visit Share your favorite recipe at or, #BronxHotSauce. 


BRONX ROYAL SAUCE, By King Phojanakong

Yield: (10oz)

Ingredients                                          Amounts

Equal parts Ketchup and Mayo               4oz each

Bronx Hot Sauce                                  2oz or to taste

1. Mix the Ketchup and Mayonnaise with a fork, stir until fully mixed.

2. Stir in Bronx Hot Sauce to taste, anywhere up to half total amount

Great as sauce with cooked burgers or other grilled meats and vegetables.


JetBlue Food For Thought - BlueBud is an example of the airline’s inclusive mindset. JetBlue cares about its BlueCities and the businesses that fuel their local economies. The airline’s hope is to create greater access to JetBlue opportunities one BlueBud at a time.  JetBlue’s product development, strategic sourcing, diversity and inclusion and sustainability teams work to ensure there are a variety of nutritious options available on all onboard food and beverage menus. Visit for more details.

About JetBlue                                                                                                                                    

JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 35 million customers a year to 96 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 925 daily flights. For more information please visit

About The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce

The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce is a product of collaboration with GrowNYC, Bronx Greenup and the 40+ participating Bronx community gardens. The product was conceived to broaden the appeal of locally grown produce while creating a permanent funding stream to support the local gardens and their remarkable work. Each customer gets superior quality and unique NYC flavor that goes well on most proteins as well as a great addition to many recipes and marinades. It’s the easiest, cheapest way to share true NYC flavor with both current New Yorkers and those New Yorkers that find themselves living elsewhere.


JetBlue Corporate Communications
Tel: +1 718 709 3089