2006-02-09 / Obituaries

Yeaton Outerbridge, 79, founder of sherry pepper firm

Yeaton Outerbridge, 79, a Jamestown summer resident who concocted his own blend of sherry peppers in his basement more than 40 years ago and turned it into a household name and a profitable enterprise, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2006 at his home in Flatts, Bermuda.

Asailor and a golfer and a past president of the Bermuda Olympic Association, Mr. Outerbridge and his cousin Robbie Outerbridge created Outerbridge’s Sherry Peppers.

Mr. Outerbridge marketed the sauce locally and in the U.S. and ultimately expanded his operation into a food line of about a dozen products. Mr. Outerbridge, who could trace his Bermudian ancestry back to 1619, created his sherry peppers sauce at Monticello, the Harrington Sound home where he lived for many years.

He told New York Times reporter R.W. Apple Jr. in 2003 that Bermuda’s sherry pepper tradition began with the Royal Navy. Sailors used the fiery blend — that is now splashed along with Black Seal rum in bowls of fish chowder —to mask the taste of food that had gone bad at sea.

He told the New York Times: “Robbie and I concocted our stuff in my basement late at night after we had consumed a few bumpers. We used 17 peppers and herbs and steeped the sauce in “gallon vats for nine months before bottling it. We and our wives produced it in our kitchens, and for almost 40 years I ran it out of my back pocket, as a hobby.”

Mr. Outerbridge sold the business a few years ago, but remained on board as a consultant. He was also a director of Bermuda Paint Company, although he quit his association with that company about 15 years ago, according to his daughter Liz Richardson.

Mrs. Richardson also said, “He was bigger than life. He had the biggest sense of humour of anyone that I know.”

Mr. Outerbridge was also “an ambassador for Bermuda” and had recently supplied Tourism Minister Ewart Brown with some U.S. golfing contacts to help get a golf tournament off the ground.

Mr. Outerbridge is survived by his wife, Betsey; three sons, Alex, Graeme, Douglas and Andrew; a daughter, Liz; and 10 grandchildren. Another daughter Louisa died in 1999. Funeral services were held at Holy Trinity Church, Bailey’s Bay, Bermuda.

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