McIlhenny Company TABASCO® Factory and Country Store

TABASCO® Factory & Country Store
Avery Island, LA  70513
800-634-9599 or 337-373-6129

Discover the spice of Iberia Parish at TABASCO®!  The world famous pepper sauce is produced at Avery Island, only minutes from New Iberia.  It is manufactured by the McIlhenny Company on the very site used by the sauce’s inventor, Edmund McIlhenny, in 1868. 

From pepper pods obtained shortly after the Civil War, McIlhenny cultivated a crop, invented a product and founded a company.  Today on Avery Island you can see pepper plants like those being nurtured for next year's crop. Seeds from plants grown on Avery Island are exported to Central and South America where Tabasco peppers are cultivated and harvested at the peak of their ripeness. Only the choicest peppers from the tropics are used in making TABASCO® Pepper Sauce.

Each January, seeds of special capsicum peppers are planted in greenhouses; seedlings are transplanted to the fields in April.  By August, the peppers reach just the right shade of red and are handpicked.  Newly harvested peppers are mashed at the factory with a little Avery Island salt.  The mash ferments and ages for three years in white oak barrels.  Finally, the aged mash is mixed with special premium vinegar, stirred for a month, strained and poured into slim bottles with their familiar red octagonal caps, green foil neckbands and diamond-shaped labels.  Avery Island remains the headquarters for the worldwide company which is still owned and operated by direct descendants of Edmund McIlhenny.

 The factory features a 20-minute tour that begins in the informative Historical Gallery and proceeds into the theatre where visitors view the story of TABASCO®.  Visitors will then enter the Factory Viewing Gallery to observe the bottling and packaging operations.  TABASCO® branded merchandising including cookbooks, clothing, giftware and samplings of spicy new food products are available at the TABASCO® Company Store. 

Be sure to visit the beautiful 200 acre Jungle Gardens while you are visiting Avery Island.  E. A. McIlhenny, son of Edmund McIlhenny, cultivated the gardens in the late 19th century.  He was a noted naturalist and explorer.