“What ketchup should be.”

Molonay Products --
Savory Ketchup
Spicy Ketchup
Curry Ketchup

Made from organic California tomatoes
No corn syrup
Only 2 grams of sugar per serving
Naturally gluten-free
Non-GMO Project Verified

  Molonay Tubilderborst Specialty Foods

Nick Coe’s life has followed an interesting path to the founding of Molonay. “My parents were foodies years ago, when it was unusual to have olive oil in the kitchen. In fact, my mother was a food historian and wrote America’s First Cuisine about the foods of Pre-Colombian America. My father, a retired archeology professor, completed and posthumously published her book, The True History of Chocolate.”

In spite of these strong food influences, Nick decided to study international relations and then took a job at the US Senate. “I quickly discovered that it wasn’t a fit.” One day he wandered into a restaurant named for its address, 209-1/2 Pennsylvania Avenue, one of the best in an otherwise dreary culinary scene in Washington at the time. He was told that they preferred kitchen staff to have no previous experience, so they could train them. “That was me,” Nick laughs. “I became a lowly cook in their teeny tiny kitchen. It could only accommodate 3 people at a time, but the small size forced every move and decision to be rational. I liked it!”

After working his way up at other DC restaurants, Nick made another interesting leap. Deciding that he wanted to study film, he was accepted at the prestigious UCLA film school. Simultaneously keeping his kitchen skills up, he got a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago. “It was quite a culture shock to go from staid, buttoned-down WDC to LA and the Hollywood craziness. But I had made the move to California and realized that the culinary field was where I belonged.”

After a number of restaurant consulting gigs, he found a restaurant space in Little Tokyo that was available at night. “So, I opened a pop-up restaurant where we served dinner 4 nights a week. Each Tuesday I would go up to the Santa Barbara farmers market, which is the best. I just wandered around the market, shopping and creating dishes in my head that I could make with what I was buying.”

“The quality of the produce from one Santa Ynez farmer in particular was unbelievable. I mostly shopped at his stand. One summer his wife told me they had a big harvest of heirloom tomatoes, and they would sell me 300 pounds. I had to come up with some way to use them immediately.”

Nick’s extended family in New Bedford, Massachusetts, has been passing down recipes for well over 100 years, and he made first batch of ketchup using one of those old-fashioned recipes. A lot of experimentation followed, and additional flavors were developed. The popularity of spicy foods led naturally to his Spicy Ketchup and then Curry Ketchup. “The Curry Ketchup took a while to catch on, but now it’s as popular as the Spicy Ketchup. It is extraordinary on sausages and even regular hot dogs.”

Nick’s creativity is delivering more products, including a salad dressing line, which uses garbanzo beans as the thickener. “When I demo at Whole Foods, I’m positioned near the condiment and salad dressing aisle, and I can overhear people talking about what they do and do not like. It’s been very useful market research, so there are a few dressings in the works.”

It’s important to Nick to bring forward something that was almost lost. “We aren’t necessarily at the most advanced state of everything, because for everything we’ve gained we may have lost something. Manufactured food products have improved immensely, but homemade, regional, and old-fashioned foods are now gaining the respect that they deserve.”

“Our Molonay ketchup is made from an authentic 150-year-old recipe. It looks different: a bit rougher, more natural – nothing like what we commonly call ketchup. The taste is an amazing symphony of tomato, onion, pepper and spice flavors sparked with tart apple cider vinegar and just a touch of caramel sweetness from Turbinado sugar (with half the sugar of ordinary ketchup). So good, you can enjoy it all by itself!”

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Molonay Tubilderborst Specialty Foods

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Contact: Nick Coe
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Phone: 626-354-0475
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