New location of Always Flavored. Taken from Always Flavored Facebook page.
Always Flavored offers a variety of hot sauces and distinctive regional sandwiches. (Photo by Noelle Clark)

Always Flavored offers a saucy option for downtown diners

by | Jun 26, 2024 | ALLFFP, Fredericksburg, Restaurants & Food

What started out as a way for Rita Witte to get rid of some overgrown vegetables in her garden in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic quickly proved to be a fruitful venture.

“I became a butcher, baker, and a candlestick maker and had a garden during COVID,” Witte said. “We had too many hot peppers and decided I’d teach myself how to make hot sauce. I had my friends and family try it and they really enjoyed it and the rest is history.”

The latest chapter of that history took place on June 21, when Witte opened a new location of Always Flavored, a woman-owned and community-based business, at 610 Caroline St. in downtown Fredericksburg. The bistro and market sells breakfast items and sandwiches and also features “flavor of the week” specials curated by Witte.

When first walking into the restaurant, showcased on the wall at the entrance are the various hot sauces, seasonings, and condiments all crafted by Witte. Besides the newly-reopened spot on Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg, Always Flavored has a location in Stafford that serves as their production kitchen for all of its hot sauces, seasonings, and other condiments.

Witte won two 2023 “Scovie Awards” for one of her hot sauces, Ritabeata’s Mild Sauce, and her BBQ sauce, Ritabeata’s Sweet Virginia Love BBQ Sauce in 2023. The award is a nod to the Scoville scale, a measure of peppers’ spiciness.

Witte aims to blend her unique sauces and seasonings into traditional styles of food from all over the country.

“I try to find sandwiches that are unique that we can use our sauces and seasonings in to make it a little bit more unique or make people feel like home,” Witte said. “We serve a Cuban sandwich, and we get people telling us that our Cuban is the best they’ve had since being in Miami, which is where it kind of originates from.”

Another one of the most popular sandwiches at Always Flavored is the Muffaletta, a sandwich that originated out of New Orleans and features her Ritabeata’s Hot Sauce.

“One of my favorite places to visit is New Orleans,” Witte said. “That’s where I took my first vacation with my husband, so if we are able to offer a little taste of that to people from there then we have done our job.”

According to Witte, every time she had people try the hot sauces she made, she was always asked to make a hotter sauce. The first sauce Witte had crafted was the Ritabeata’s Mild Green Hot Sauce, which is a green hot sauce. Then came her Ritabeata’s Hot Sauce, which can be used for all foods for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

“I made our Thai Chili sauce at our first event, which was The Frosty Brew Thru at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds in January 2021,” Witte said. “That was our first official sale and then we got inspected and licensed. Then it all blew up from there as demand from our customers have grown over the years.”

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