Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Tia Lupita Hot Sauce

Tia Lupita founder Hector SaldivarHector Saldivar’s earliest food memory is sitting in his family kitchen in Monterrey, Northern Mexico. His mother Lupita would patiently stir a potent mixture of ripe tomatillos, green cilantro, garlic and cilantro… the air would become rich with the spiced perfume of the produce. It was a family recipe, passed from mother to daughter and perfected over the years. Family and friends alike asked Tia Lupita to bottle up her salsa for years, but she always demurred.

Hector grew up and moved to San Francisco to work for the likes of Nestlé and Diamond Foods. He searched the Bay Area for a decent hot sauce and finally wrote home for care packages—anything for her mijo. Tia Lupita would ship him bottle after bottle... a taste of home.

But soon his friends caught on. They would arrive at his apartment, anxiously asking if any new bottles had arrived. When the pleading and mooching had become too much, Hector flew back home to ask Mama Lupita for the recipe and her blessing to make it for all to enjoy.

Well, let’s just say we’re the blessed ones because her answer was . He bottled up the sauce, and the bottle bears the likeness of Hector’s beloved mother, complete with curlers to keep her bangs out of her hair while she cooks.

No stranger to the food industry, Hector searched for the right place to premiere his salsa. His first break was his local Woodlands Market, where they were willing to “give him a shot.” As soon as shoppers caught wind, they were selling cases of 24 per week. Other markets in the area soon caught on… but Hector’s just happy to always have that taste of home.