We are a family business with generational ties to Chapel Hill, NC.
About Cottage Lane Kitchen:
Cottage Lane is a hidden in the heart of Chapel Hill where at least one member of our family has lived since 1922. In fact, at different times, our family has owned six of the seven homes that still stand on the lane.
There is one home, however, where four generations of our family have grown peppers on its land and cooked and preserved pepper relish in the kitchen. This is the origin of the business name – to acknowledge this special location and members of our family.
About our Products:
This is not your ordinary relish. We create a fiery, distinctive Southern Pepper Relish! Made from fresh chile peppers, with not a cucumber in sight, our relish has a modern, bold SPICY flavor with a firecracker personality to boot! We have two flavors – Get Me A Switch is based on an heirloom family recipe. Its name embraces our southern roots and identifies its lingering zippy sweet/heat character while Cape Fear is a modern recipe and its name identifies its lingering habanero fruity/fiery character. People say they bite back, but we prefer to say they nibble.
They are both sodium free and use all fresh chile peppers that have been chopped and slow cooked in apple cider vinegar.
Use it as you would any hot sauce, salsa, chow chow or relish – on eggs, hot dogs, sandwiches, beans and greens.
We are proud of the lineage of our recipes; our history in Chapel Hill, NC where our home has been for generations; the quality of the ingredients used in our products and the bold flavors we continue to preserve.
About Samantha Cheek Swan, founder of Cottage Lane Kitchen
Growing up in the Southern US and with family roots in North Carolina (in particular to Orange County since colonial times), Samantha lived in many US states, as well as the United Kingdom, The Republic of South Africa and Turkey. She studied Art History at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has worked at the Huntington Art Gallery at the University of Texas at Austin (now the Jack S Blanton Museum of Art), as well as a number of commercial galleries in London, UK.
In November 2009, she left her job and decided to travel the world with her husband. One of the things that they found most enjoyable when traveling was sampling the cuisines of other cultures and finding new and different condiments to take home with them. Their fridge always has a multitude of ‘upside down sauces’, as one friend labeled them, as Samantha was always trying to drain the last drop of goodness out of each bottle. Samantha, has always felt condiments have been a little sidelined in the kitchen – after all what would Mexican food be without salsa, Chinese dishes without soy sauce, Sushi without Wasabi, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers & Fries without ketchup, and BBQ’d meats without sauce?
Returning to visit family in NC December 2010, Samantha, with her father, made her first batch of the family pepper relish. No one had made it since the 1990s – her grandfather was the last to cook a batch and these reserves were dwindling. There was no written recipe, so she set out to record her father’s dash of this and ‘that looks about right’ of that with measurement in cups and teaspoons. After careful refining of ingredients and standardizing the types of peppers to use (historically, the family used whatever type of pepper grown in their garden that season), ‘The Switch’ was ready to be shared with a wider audience.
Throughout her travels and relocations, there is only one place that has remained a constant in Samantha’s life; her grandfather’s home on Cottage Lane in Chapel Hill, NC. In fact, her family have lived in and/or owned five of the six houses built on Cottage Lane. Her great grandmother and grandfather grew peppers on its land and all four generations (her great-grandmother, grandfather, father and herself) have lived in their family home and produced relish in its kitchen. Therefore, her company couldn’t possibly be named anything other than ‘Cottage Lane Kitchen’…