The Garcia family has found a hot market for their salsa in Sequim.
José, a native of Mexico (as his "Hecho in Mexico" T-shirt attests), has long been making his specialty salsa for friends. They encouraged José to take it to the marketplace, and so he did, beginning in May at Sequim's Open Aire Market.
José and his wife, Angee, now are manufacturing and selling 50 gallons of the salsa each week. Daughter Abbey, 7, and son Sage, 10, pitch in with the family enterprise.
The products taste wonderfully fresh, and with good reason: the Garcias buy their produce from Sequim farmers, or when that's not possible, from others in Washington.
The salsa is put together in a weekly marathon Thursday-night session at the Boys & Girls Club in Sequim. The club has a commercial kitchen that can be rented by the hour.
Let's get it started
Utilizing a commercial kitchen is just one of the requirements for creating a commercial food product in Washington. After going through the state-mandated process and paying the state-mandated tab, José's Famous Salsa holds a Master Business License that allows the couple to wholesale their goods.
That means you now can pick up some of José's Famous Salsa at the Saturday Open Aire Market or you can drop by Hardy's Market, The Red Rooster Grocery or Agnew Grocery the rest of the week.
You'll find four different heat levels, from mild to "crazy hot" to suit your tastes.
"Most people just put it on chips," Angee said, but "there's many more uses for fresh salsa. I have one friend who puts it in Bloody Marys. Another adds it to his meat loaf recipe."
Angee also noted that salsa is a great accompaniment to eggs at breakfast time.
Authentic as it gets
José is from Tepic Nayarit, a small town near Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's west coast. He and Angee met while working at Chili's in Torrance, Calif. They've been married 11 years.
Torrance is a long way from Sequim, but moving to the peninsula was a happy decision.
"My mom was going to move here but got cancer. We eventually moved anyway. We wanted to raise our kids in a better place."
Angee, a stay-at-home mom when she's not manufacturing or hawking salsa, also is working to become a paraeducator.
"I want to help kids who need a little more help,"
For his day job, José builds yachts at Westport Shipyard in Port Angeles.
Anyone interested in creating a food product for sale can contact Steve Rosales at the Boys & Girls Club. The club's kitchen, which rents for $10 to $15 an hour, is used only about four hours a day. The kitchen is a great community resource and the rent money goes to support a good cause, Rosales said.
Reach Mark Couhig at email@example.com.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
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