Meet Stephanie & Marisol of Cascabel Salsa Gourmet
Our story begins when we (Stephanie Goni-Fuentes and Marisol Garcia–the co-founders) met in Houston in 2011 at a Zumba class. We stayed in touch after that, and became good friends. We are both from Mexico City: Chilangas!
A few years later, Stephanie traveled back home for vacation, and brought back some home-made Salsa Macha that her grandmother had prepared. If you are not familiar with it, Salsa Macha is a Spicy Mexican Chili Oil. It’s a staple on many dinner tables and drizzled on most of the food served. She ended up sharing a bit of it with Marisol, who loved it. It then dawned on us that is was near impossible to find Salsa Macha in Houston. That’s where the idea of creating a business began.
It took us a few months to then formalize the business, and sort out scaling and production. We then began selling at local farmer’s markets and hot sauce festivals. We then partnered with Satellite Pizza food truck who uses Cascabel on some pizza recipes. We also expanded to sell at local retail establishments, including The Heights Grocer and Luce Avenue Coffee Roasters.
Most recently we have started selling at the Whole Foods Market in Houston. We hope to expand to other retailers in the Houston area and beyond.
A major challenge during the process was time management. We are both married and full-time mothers of young kids. Juggling family life and entrepreneurship has been difficult. But it has not just been a sacrifice on their parts. Our husbands have also played an important role during the initial phases, both in product development and staying at home with the kids while we were at festivals and markets. We can’t thank them enough.
To this day, we still have to find a balance between running the business and running our families. There never seem to be enough hours in the day. With the support of our families, we are confident we can push past these obstacles and push forward.
We make Cascabel Salsa Gourmet: a Spicy Roasted Mexican Chili Oil. The recipe, which has been passed down from generations, and preparation methods remain faithful to Stephanie’s grandmothers. The taste and smell of Cascabel take us back to our childhoods in Mexico City, and reminds us of family.
To us, Cascabel Salsa Gourmet is, in a sense, family.
To taste it is to taste spice, but not overwhelming spice, not spice for spice, but more of a flavorful spice: the taste of roasted chilis which complements the beautiful crimson color. All our ingredients are natural, and nothing artificial is added. It’s a versatile product: use it as a condiment, marinade, or seasoning.
The traditional serving method it to stir it up really well with a small spoon (we mean really well, to mix up the chili with the oil), scoop some out, and drizzle on drops to whatever is on your plate. Start off with just a few drops, and build up from there. We manufacture in very small batches, and every single jar is made in Houston, Texas! We are proud that we can keep our family traditions alive and bring Cascabel from our table to yours.
Great question! To us, success means meeting your goals, of which we have many. But it all boils down to being able to earn a living doing something you love. In our case, that is making Cascabel, which besides being spicy and delicious, keeps our family traditions alive. Now, the whole “earn a living” part is something we are still working on! We hope to make that part a reality sooner rather than later, since we’ll be able to grow the business and create a positive impact for our families and for the city we love and call home: Houston, Texas by hopefully being able to create jobs and benefit the local economy.
If you have a second, please check out of website, www.cascabelsalsa.com, and follow us on social media via our handle @cascabelsalsa.