our history

Our story is pretty interesting (I love all stories like this too). Literally, we started our business on the street corner (no, not that kind of business!). I started out selling chile ristras and chile wreaths to make date money. I was given a great idea to bring this concept of chile garland wreaths to Dallas, and take them to Neiman Marcus. Well, I did and hell, they bought them for the Xmas catalog. Then on to the Horchow Collection…where one of my wreaths landed on the cover of the holiday food catalog (thank you Margaret Ann Cullum). And, we were in business.

Well, that was all well and good for 3 months out of the year……so, what do you do with the other 9 months….hmmmm…SALSA! Our dear mother, Norma Kerr, makes what can only be described as the best damn chili ever. I commercialized her recipe and took that to market. Welcome to the food business!

In the 1980s, the gourmet food thing was beginning to happen. Regional foods were just starting to spark around the country. I had this amazing-fantastic-brilliant idea to bottle up our everyday table salsa. We did not know words like “boutique or artisan” then, but that’s what it was. A true American classic: El Paso Chile Company’s “Salsa Primera”. El Paso Chile Company is the original food business that later morphed into the number one specialty salsa brand: “Desert Pepper Trading Company”.