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Spice up your Holidays….Born out of California and named after the people of founder Jose-Luis Saavedra's native Guadalajara, Tapatio is set to celebrate 50 years as one of the world's most popular hot sauces. Never has a sock been "muy salsa" than this red-and-white casual sock featuring the famous Tapatio label. We sat down with Vice President of Tapatio, Luis Saavedra to ask him how the company started and where they are headed.
Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about Tapatio. Please tell us how the company started out?
The company was founded by Jose-Luis Saavedra in 1971 in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to this, my mother would make the hot sauce and he would take it to work to share with his fellow employees which soon became a lunch time hit! When his place of work closed in 1970, my mother encouraged him to open a hot sauce company and between their shared work they made the delicious sauce and sold it. It was not an easy start and was very regional at the time, having been sold to local markets and grocery stores. Fast forward 50 years later, Tapatio Hot Sauce now has nationwide distribution and exports to over 25 countries.
Tapatio is everywhere world-wide, how did you guys begin to grow globally?
As the product began to sell more and more in Los Angeles, we were blessed that many visitors would visit Los Angeles, taste the product in restaurants, and would even take bottles home! In addition, many people from Los Angeles would relocate and would miss the classic taste they were familiar with and asked us to ship cases directly to them or requested that their local grocery stores carry the sauce. Over time the brand gained nationwide and global recognition.
We love that your entire family all work together. Is this something that your father wanted for his family, or could you have gone and done something else if you wanted to?
My father always stressed the importance of an education and to pursue what would make us happy in life. As a result, I became a doctor of medicine, Dolores studied law, and Jacquie studied Accounting. As the company grew, we all felt the need to help out our father in the business though our education was not lost. I am currently the Vice President of the company, Dolores now heads our in house legal team, and Jacquie is now director of Accounts Receivable. Over time our kids have joined the business to help us out as well.
How did you link up with Stance, and what was it about the company that made you decide to work with them?
Originally Albie Rosario, VP of business development of Stance, came to us with an awesome collaboration opportunity. Over time our relationship with Albie grew and we decided to work with Stance because Stance has some of the best products. At Tapatio, quality is our top priority and we can tell it is at Stance as well. They presented us with an awesome design and we were super excited to move forward. We hope everyone enjoys the socks as much as we do.
This upcoming new year Tapatio is celebrating its 50th anniversary. What does the brand have planned for the special occasion?
Originally we had a few experiential events in the works for 2021. However, due to the pandemic we've had to shift our plans quite a bit. Overall, we want to celebrate safely and responsibly. We have a few exciting special edition items in the works so stay tuned!