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Heartbreaking Dawns Artisan Foods Wins 1st Place on Premiere Episode of Small-Business Competition Reality Show “Crowd Rules”

Northern New Jersey-based hot sauce company Heartbreaking Dawns Artisan Foods won the inaugural episode of CNBC’s new small business competition reality show “Crowd Rules” and took home $50,000. The first episode of “Crowd Rules," that aired on Tuesday May 14, featured Heartbreaking Dawns, producers of all-natural artisan sauces and spice blends, and two other specialty food small businesses out to convince a panel of judges and the 100-member studio audience that their business deserved to win. Entrepreneur and jewelry design Kendra Scott, NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan, and guest expert model/actress Elizabeth Chambers, founder and co-owner of Bird Bakery in San Antonio, TX, led the examination of the small businesses in order to help a studio audience choose which company wins the $50,000.

Wyckoff, NJ Small Business Nets $50,000 Cash Prize; Provides Tips on Hot Sauce Use

Co-Owner Johnny McLaughlin Pitches Heartbreaking Dawns to the Crowd

 The panelists examine and analyze each of the three businesses (contenders included Picklelicious, a Teacneck, NJ-based pickle and condiment business and Mr. Green Tea, a Keyport, NJ ice cream maker) and offer business advice, but the real power lies in the hands of the audience - 97 strong - whose votes will ultimately decide which business is most deserving of the investment. “Winning ‘Crowd Rules’ has been an incredible experience,” said Johnny McLaughlin, self-taught chef and founder/co-owner of Heartbreaking Dawns. “From showing the audience what our company does to listening to the great feedback the judges gave, we’re so pleased to have been a part of this exciting new CNBC show that we know will inspire other entrepreneurs. Winning $50,000 by showing the ‘Crowd Rules’ panelists and audience what Heartbreaking Dawns truly is as an up-and-coming business in the exploding hot sauce category has been incredibly validating.”

Moving forward from their win, Heartbreaking Dawns looks to spice up the upcoming summer barbeque and grilling season with their products. From dry rubs and seasonings to barbeque sauce, preserves to their famous hot sauce, Heatbreaking Dawns unusual flavor combinations can liven up any meal and provide for a mouth-watering, seductively hot experience. With a number of expertly-crafted creations, Heartbreaking Dawns, named for the Arthur Ribaud poem, has a flavor for everyone to enjoy.

"Crowd Rules" airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM EST on CNBC.

About Heartbreaking Dawns

Heartbreaking Dawns is the Hudson Valley, NY and Tri-State area's premier producer of all-natural artisan sauces and spice blends. Its award-winning hot sauces come in a variety of flavors and heat levels. The company also sells preserves, chutneys and spice blends. Owned and operated by husband and wife team Chef Johnny and Nicole McLaughlin, the company has its roots in New Jersey, where the couple sourced ingredients from their garden. After years of encouragement from friends and family, the couple bottled and began selling their sauces to the public. In October 2009, Heartbreaking Dawns Artisan Foods was formed and Jalapeno Pineapple, Mango Habanero and Classic Gold hot sauces were debuted. Soon after, the addition of their Trail Preserves would garner more recognition in the world of fiery foods. The Original Fiery Trail Preserves continues to be the Hudson Valley's 1st Place Chutney for three years and counting. Self-taught, Chef Johnny appeared on the Food Network's show Chopped in 2012 and the company has evolved to include the 1776 Beverage Co., a line of natural sugar cane sweetened soda, a line of dry rubs, seasoning, along with BBQ and grilling sauces. www.heartbreakingdawns.com

About "Crowd Rules"

Each week, "Crowd Rules" features three small businesses that compete in front of an audience of 100 that votes to decide who wins a much-needed $50,000 prize. Entrepreneur and jewelry designer Kendra Scott, TV Newsman Pat Kiernan, along with a weekly guest industry expert, lead the examination of the small businesses in order to help a studio audience choose which company wins the $50,000. While the small business owners make their case to the panel of three, the real power lies in the hands of the audience – 97 strong – whose votes will ultimately decide which business is most deserving of the investment. “Crowd Rules” airs Tuesdays at 9:00PM EST on CNBC.

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