COACH'S SALSA STORY!
Our passion for salsa began decades ago when we lived at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. Living in Tucson (and frequenting Nogales) we were provided with unlimited access to the many amazing flavors and varieties of Mexican cuisine! Of course, it didn't hurt that Julie worked in a Mexican Restaurant for several years as well!
Following our service to the U.S.A.F. we brought our appetite for Latin food back to Oregon with us where we were born and raised (Corvallis/Albany), and began pursuing our careers. Mark had already begun experimenting with homemade salsa and Julie's green thumb from her farming background found her continuously enlarging the garden in an effort to grow the very vegetables we enjoyed in our salsa. By the early 1990's we had perfected a recipe that many said "should be sold in stores!"
Instead of retailing our salsa we decided to sell our salsa as a way to help raise funds for Mark's teams. Thousands of quarts later we truly began entertaining the idea of owning our own company. This led us to consider launching "Bad Moon Salsa Company" (the title a reference to Mark's childhood nickname) in 2005, but Mark's love for helping kids saw him spend another ten years working in schools until we finally felt it was time to bring our salsa to market!
Having heard many stories about the challenges of production, distribution and quality control we chose to invest in ourselves in an effort to ensure that the same great salsa our friends had enjoyed for all of these years would be enjoyed by our customers once we got it to market! Thus, in the spring of 2016 we built our own food production facility at our farm located 15 minutes northwest of Salem, Oregon, receiving our FDA and ODA approval for operation in July of that year.
That fall we began marketing our salsa as a fundraising product. Packaged in a 32oz spice jar we were excited at the idea of providing a quality product, in a large quantity, at a fair price as a fundraising item. Several fundraisers later two events occurred that caused our business plan to take two different ninety degree turns in entirely new directions.
The first was an invitation to First Taste of Oregon, which arrived in our mailbox that November and Julie began insisting that we needed to attend in an effort to increase our exposure. The show turned out to be an incredible exposure opportunity for us and, unbelievably, we arrived on the shelves stores that April!
In an effort to prepare for our retail premier we decided that March to attend The SIP Classic in McMinnville, and really promote the retail rollout in April. Unbeknownst to us we also had a restaurant/deli product as well as we were asked if we would be interested in providing a local restaurant chain with salsa! That May we arrived on their menu and our third line of business was underway!
Fast forward and even more has changed. Hurricane Harvey hit in August of 2017 and the cost of our packaging skyrocketed thus leading us to change from our 32oz jugs to a 16oz deli container. Customer input strongly supported the change as well and the result has been very positive. Once again we insisted on a great product, in a good volume, at a very fair price.
Since the fall of 2017 we have been very fortunate as we have been allowed to market our product in eight more stores, bringing our current total to 17! Amazing that we started our retail marketing without a retail container or even a barcode and now we appear on so many shelves!
To think that in under two years we would be in 17 grocery stores is simply unimaginable!
We feel fortunate to be able to continue our ongoing support of education by providing college scholarships. Having spent the past three decades directly involved in education, as well having multiple generations of educators in our family, Julie felt it important that we dedicate a percentage of our annual gross sales to helping others further their education. Please see our "Scholarships" page for more information! We are proud to say that since our inception as a company we have been able to provide scholarship dollars to students from Mt. Angel, Stayton and Salem, Oregon.
Why "Coach's Salsa?"
When our family made the commitment to roll out our unique business model we decided that honoring people who work with kids was a very important value to our company. Thus, we also felt we could do it by naming our brand and developing our company identity after those that make great sacrifices in the name of supporting our youth, hence, "Coach's!" A tribute to everyone that has ever taught, mentored, advised, helped, directed, guided or coached kids! It's our family's ongoing way of saying THANK YOU you for all you do!