Dude, Seriously LLC (Blue Ash, OH)

Dude, Seriously is a local Cincinnati, OH company that was founded in 2016 by Kai Schneider. In 2018 & 2019 they were voted Jungle Jims “Best Hot Sauce” at the Weekend of Fire, the largest fiery food show in the midwest. 


The first brick-and-mortar retailer to carry Dude, Seriously is the Street Corner Market at the Banks at 160 Walnut St. Other retailers will come on line in January 2018. Dude, Seriously is also sold at Taft's Ale House as its in-house hot sauce, but otherwise sales are handled entirely online.

After graduating with a bachelor's in advertising from Pepperdine, Schneider ran into Jimmy Gould in a Cincinnati Blockbuster Video, who introduced him to the Firm, a Los Angeles talent and model management agency that represented names like Martin Lawrence and the Backstreet Boys.

Schneider's college roommate also got a job with the Firm before leaving to work for Von Dutch, the trucker hat company that became a monumental craze during the early aughts. That's where he learned the value of branding, and as it collapsed (Paris Hilton, one of the early adopters of the Von Dutch trucker hat, later said it was one of her largest fashion mistakes) he came up with an idea – introducing Dude, Seriously as a brand. It was a phrase, he said, that you could see worn by someone like Hilton and you have have the same reaction whether you love or hate her: "Dude, seriously?"