Tia Lupita: Making Mexican healthy again

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Since launching the Mexican brand Tia Lupita, you could say founder Hector Saldivar’s business model has…evolved.

“I started this in 2018 with hot sauce. One single product, one single bottle, one single SKU, based on my mom’s family recipe. For the longest time, I thought that the business model was just going to be me making hot sauce in the kitchen and driving around in my Jeep, taking personal orders and having transactions at the back of the store.”

Today Saldivar has a team of five and boasts 13 SKUs, which include cactus tortilla chips, cactus tortillas, salsa macha and a variety of sauces.

Despite a pandemic playing out in the background, Tia Lupita Foods has seen sales double year-over-year since 2019. Last year sales were $1.5M and Saldivar said he is on track to bring in $3M this year.

Saldivar said during the height of the pandemic, he noticed grocery stores were just trying to keep shelves stocked. Recognizing it wasn’t the right time to introduce a new product, Saldivar decided to pivot.

All eyes on ecommerce

“We weren’t in a lot of stores, so we focused on growing our online business. Every dollar that we had allocated to growing wholesale and brick and mortar we invested in Shopify, building a great web-based selling platform and also in our Amazon business,”​ he said.

Once the pandemic settled down, grocers were ready for something new: enter Tia Lupita. Fast forward to today, the brand is in nearly 5,000 stores. Tia Lupita can be found in the East and West coast, North Atlantic, Mid Atlantic, New York and Texas. Saldivar said the brand is penetrating the Midwest market “slowly” but surely.

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