Faces of Long Island celebrates the uniqueness of everyday Long Islanders. In their own words, they tell us about their life experiences, challenges and triumphs. Newsday launched this social media journey into the human experience to shine a light on the diverse people of this wonderful place we call home.

‘In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing about business. I learned from a lot of places.’

Sutta Saraphum, Valley Stream

“I was born and raised in Thailand. I came to the United States for school. It was so difficult for me as an international student. I couldn’t find anything like the Thai food or culture. Language was troubling for me because I couldn’t speak English at that time. I came to New York in 2011. Moving to New York was one of the greatest opportunities for me to learn a new language, culture and food. When I was in Thailand, I only knew Thai food, but when I came to this state, they had a million foods that I had never found.

It’s hard, but I will not give up.

“However, I couldn’t find any Thai hot sauce like home. I couldn’t find any bottled products that were imported from Thailand or even made here that tasted somewhat similar to what I eat at home. Everybody in Thailand knows how to make it, but because I live here, it’s very difficult to find. Nobody is going to sell it because the sauce is a very unique product with unique ingredients. Thai hot sauce is not just regular hot sauce. It’s not designed for cooking. It’s just designed for dipping and pouring right on top of your food, and your food will turn to the next level.

So, I decided to make my own sauce, bottle it and sell it. I created SD Sauce based on my journey and lifestyle. I knew I should spread this sauce to the world, and then somehow people were loving my sauce. I have six different flavors, like original, ginger vegan, barbecue. This is a homemade sauce. I had to source all the ingredients, the bottle, labeling and legal licensing. I have my husband helping me behind the scenes. He loves researching and is a big supporter.

“In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing about business. I learned from a lot of places. It took me a long time to get things started. I have no idea when I started or formed the company, but it took me years to get here today. As time went by, I learned little by little. It’s not easy with the economy, all the ingredients and inflation. It’s hard, but I will not give up. I don’t know how far I can go or be successful, but as long as the consumer is eating my sauce and enjoying my products, that is my success. That puts a smile on my face.”

Interviewed by Victoria Bell