Creating the ‘World’s Best Salsa,’ and growing a brand

Posted On March 31, 2024

Cooking is in Tony Tejas ‘ blood. But his background is in restaurant management.

Tejas has now combined his cooking skills and his business sense to create his own products and his own company. He shared how in a recent episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston.”

A Mobile native, he spent part of his younger years in Houston and developed a love for Mexican cuisine. During his 20 years as a restaurant manager, he developed a concept for his own restaurant. While that concept never got off the ground, it became the catalyst for something else.

Disgusted at what he found at the store when looking for salsa, he decided to take matters into his own hands. “I channeled all the flavors and styles and textures that I remembered salsa being in Texas,” he said, “and I whipped up my own.”

After a friend told him it was the best salsa he’d ever eaten, Tejas began making and selling Tony’s Tejas Salsa. He started selling it at farmer’s markets, but got a big break when Whole Foods bought his pitch before even tasting the salsa.

“When you’re in business, especially in the food business, it’s one thing to have a good product, but you have to have a strategy,” he said. “I had put together an investment group and had this amazing sales team who could promote and pitch the product, if not better than me, at least as well as I did. And that’s how you develop a food brand – you have to get it in people’s mouths.”

While he’s got goals to grow the brand, which he markets as “The World’s Best Salsa,” from regional to national and beyond, Tejas isn’t just concerned with growth. He’s committed to producing a healthy product, and to avoiding the temptation of shortcuts.

“I’ve come to several crossroads in this venture,” he said, “where I could either go cheap and unhealthy to grow my business and scale it rapidly or stay true to what it is – healthy, clean, fresh – and it’s a much harder row to hoe.”

And Tony doesn’t just make salsa. He’s now developed a line of soups called Port City Soups, and is working on a vegan catering and food prep project.

“Creating is my happy place,” he said. “Do not believe vegan is a dirty word. Vegan is your friend.”

Categories: Blog, Entrepreneurship, What's Working with Cam Marston