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Family Farm Recovers From Hail Storm With Hot Sauce

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Seven months after a major hail storm, farmers in Southern Minnesota are still being affected by the damage.

Sogn Farm in Cannon Falls took a major blow right before harvest as their pepper crop was destroyed.

One of their vendors took the damaged goods and now the resulting product is flying off store shelves.

Sogn Farm was a family's dream, but in August it became a nightmare after hail busted Dana Jokela's fruit right before harvest.

"Went out to find our plants pretty much ravaged," said Jokela.

Fortunately one of the farm's clients volunteered to take the riddled remnants.

"They all took whatever peppers could be used, a lot of scratch and dent," said Jokela.

Now, seven months later the Founder of Cry Baby Craig's Hot Sauce made a scratch-and-dent hot sauce appropriately named Hail Fire.

"It's overwhelming really, how fast it's going and how well received it is," said Craig Kaiser.

Craig Kaiser and his business partner, Sam Bonin, aren't taking a penny in profit. Neither is Lund's, who is exclusively selling the sauce.

All profits will go to Sogn Farms and if the Hail Fire keeps selling as it has, it could mean $40,000 for Dana and his farm.

"Yes it is a nice gesture but I wasn't looking at that, I was looking at the pain those families are dealing with, knowing that you woke up one morning and lost everything and you may not have another season to grow," said Craig.

A former farm kid himself, Craig Kaiser knows that true growth comes from within.

"I think what I want from this the most is people to know how easy it is that you can help someone else," said Craig.

The Hail Fire Hot Sauce is made mostly of bell peppers and habanero.  It's on sale at all Lund's locations for $6.99 a bottle.

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