RICHIE'S FRESH SALSA
Made locally in Melbourne, Richie's California style fresh salsa and food started over a decade ago in 2006 when Richie moved to Melbourne from California with his wife Mary to discover a lack of the fresh salsa he had come to know and love. With flavour and fresh ingredients at the heart of Richie's fresh salsa and food, each product is handmade in small batches and sealed by hand ready to be opened and devoured by you. Simple, delicious, mouth watering goodness.
We caught up with the man behind the Salsa and his wife Mary to find out more.
Who are the team behind Richie’s Fresh Salsa and what made you launch?
At the heart of Richie’s Fresh Salsa is husband-and-wife team Richie and Mary. When I moved from California to Melbourne with my Australian wife in 2006, traditional fresh salsa was one thing we dearly missed seeing at the local store. We set ourselves a mission to bring a little taste of California to Melbourne, beginning with fresh salsa.
My taste of California embraces my Mexican-American heritage. Our traditional, handmade Mexican food products are made with simple, recognisable ingredients. Fresh and healthy ingredients make real food that tastes delicious.
What does a day in the life of the Richie’s Fresh Salsa team look like?
As each week begins, all hands are on deck prepping for the week’s production. Whether it’s coring tomatoes, chopping jalapenos, cooking pots of pinto beans, black beans, making Spanish rice or anything else, our real ingredients are chopped, juiced, cored, grated, slow-cooked or boiled.
By mid-week, focus shifts to meet the week’s production. Ingredients are combined in small batches. Fresh salsa is poured into tubs, burritos are hand-rolled, and enchilada trays are assembled. Every product is sealed by hand, every package is made to be opened and devoured.
As each week ends, the bulk of the week’s orders are delivered, production is calculated for the following week, ingredients delivered/picked up, and Richie’s kitchen is deep-cleaned ready to start the next week shiny and new.
Interspersed throughout the week are all the other activities that keeps Richie’s Fresh Salsa ticking. This includes working with our grocery retailers and other bulk food retailers, promotion, delivering ad-hoc urgent orders, catching up on emails and phone calls, product development and planning new opportunities.
What was involved in developing the range of Richie’s Fresh Salsa?
In the heart of California, Mexican food is integral to the community and fresh salsa is a staple in the local diet, the perfect complement to every meal. I started making my own version of fresh salsa in my hometown of Sacramento many years ago. When we decided to bring a little taste of California to Melbourne, we started small. Our humble beginnings at the local farmer’s market were a great opportunity to learn about the locals’ interest in fresh salsa, and their love for traditional Mexican food. Our range is evolving, but always focussed on providing no-nonsense traditional Mexican food that inspires you to care about where food comes from and how it is produced.
What sets Richie’s Fresh Salsa products apart from other Mexican foods currently available?
The obvious reason that sets our products apart is that they are made by a Mexican-American. Every Mexican family has their own recipes that can’t be found on You Tube, and Richie’s Fresh Salsa products are based on my family’s traditional recipes and my Mexican DNA. Growing up in California and being around Mexican food all my life sets our standards high.
Without giving away your secret, how do you make your salsa taste so good?
Growing up in California, I learned that fresh salsa complements just about everything at an early age. Fresh salsa was found at every table, at every meal.
A really great salsa is always fresh, always handmade from ripe tomatoes and real chillies. Our authentic fresh salsas are made with only the freshest ingredients. We use no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours and all our salsas are gluten-free and dairy-free.
What has been your greatest achievement to date?
Our greatest achievement is offering locally made products to Melbourne that I couldn’t find when I moved here in 2006. When I moved from California to Melbourne, we couldn’t find fresh salsa in the local store’s refrigerator, and we couldn’t find any locally produced burritos in the freezer. The wonderful feedback I receive particularly from those who have lived or travelled to North America, Mexico or South America, and have first-hand experience of good quality Mexican food products continues to fuel our fire.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take 3 things, what would they be?
My wife, fresh salsa and burritos.