Interview with Small Business Client Danielle Johnson, a.k.a Ms. HotSauce

Photo credit: Lift Labs

Danielle Johnson, widely known as Ms. HotSauce, has encompassed the essence of her stage name, combining her fun loving appeal and fiery sense of humor to any stage, Room, and/or airwaves. Born in Massachusetts, HotSauce is a mom, a radio personality, speaker, MC, and creator. In 2020 Danielle Launched the First Black Female Owned Digital Radio station in Boston, Spark FM. She has been featured in Boston Magazine as one of Boston’s 150 most influential people in 2022 and 2023. Spark FM Online is a national digital radio station amplifying, and empowering the underserved voice of the urban and Caribbean community.

What made you want to found Spark FM?
Noticing the disconnect between how our Black and Brown communities’ stories were told from the viewpoint of mainstream media and the lack of diverse music and entertainment on the radio, I recognized the need to create a platform tailored for the urban and Caribbean communities by those who best understood them but lacked the opportunity to express it. I also understood the necessity for small businesses to have a viable avenue for radio advertising within their community to enhance their brand visibility and impact. Thus, I founded Spark FM with the aim of revitalizing the city, bringing diverse music, talent, and empowerment to inner-city neighborhoods while making a global impact. Additionally, Spark FM aims to provide and be the cornerstone of information for disseminating important messages, resources, and information into the more vulnerable communities, serving as a vital conduit for empowerment and upliftment.

What is your favorite part of Spark FM?
The incredible individuals I’ve encountered on this journey, the numerous businesses we’ve assisted in amplifying and gaining visibility, and above all, the joy I derive from entertaining my audience, all contribute to my deep fulfillment. Providing information and entertainment to a community that often feels marginalized or unheard brings me immense happiness. We’ve cultivated a strong following of individuals who rely on us as their source of news and entertainment daily. It’s incredibly gratifying to know that we’re making an impact and connecting with numerous stakeholders, both locally and globally.

What is the most challenging part of running your business?
Being an entrepreneur, a visionary, and a talent often feels like juggling too many roles. Creating a platform and company with such an important mission can be challenging, especially while balancing the responsibilities of being a mom. It’s understandable how overwhelming it can get at times. Every day, I strive to remind myself that this journey is all new, and it’s a continuous learning experience. Maintaining unwavering patience in the face of difficulties can be incredibly challenging. However, with perseverance and a burning desire to see this vision through, I am determined to overcome these obstacles. I eagerly anticipate the day when I can step back and fully enjoy the fruits of my labor.

What is your relationship with Dorchester Bay?
It’s truly amazing! Dorchester Bay was an answer to my prayers at a time when I was on the verge of giving up hope of scaling my business. It’s organizations like Dorchester Bay that provide invaluable resources, especially to businesses like mine that may not be aware of their existence. With the opportunity they’ve offered, I’m grateful. Building a relationship with them is exciting because of the potential for growth and the positive impact it will have on the communities we both serve.

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