Just three years ago, America DeLoach was in her fourteenth year of teaching Spanish in the public school system. Now her line of Mexican style salsa products is in numerous local farmers markets and over 60 stores in Virginia! Find out why everyone is talking about Salsas Don Sebastian by reading her story but, most importantly…by tasting her yummy, fresh, simple-ingredient salsas!
America found her time as a teacher rewarding, but her entrepreneurial spirit was tugging at her to make a courageous change in her career. Her husband Lionel’s salsa recipe, which came from his grandmother in Mexico, had been a long-standing hit with family and friends. America enhanced the recipe’s acidity and flavor with additional lime. She tested the waters with neighbors and received rave reviews. Her market research quickly revealed that her salsa stood out in both taste and freshness. Unlike most salsas, hers contains no sugar, artificial colors or preservatives.
America entered the farmers market venue which she described by stating, “I started strong and stayed strong!” Customers told her she should sell to retail stores. Although the idea seemed daunting, the manager she approached at Elwood Thompsons immediately loved her salsas and stocked up on mild, medium, and hot varieties. America humorously recalls, “I was vicious after that! I thought now I can get in anywhere!” She hired a phenomenal graphic designer, fiercely studied her competition, asked tons of questions along the way, assembled a small staff and worked her way into over 60 stores! In fact, Whole Foods will soon carry her products in every store in Virginia!
Throughout America’s journey, she became closer to Lionel’s family. She met with his mother who shared stories about her mother Carmelita, who had taught Lionel how to make salsa and other family favorites. America was honored to receive Carmelita’s beloved beautifully handwritten recipes from the early 1900’s stating, “I feel proud to bring history and authenticity to my customers. Salsa is always a part of every meal in Mexico. You get a touch of the history of Mexico through my salsa recipe.” Carmelita’s recipes sparked such creativity and inspiration in America as she now produces a variety of salsas and dips and delectable side dishes like pinto beans, lentils, black beans, and potato salad.
America partners with local farmers as much as she can to obtain fresh produce for Salsas Don Sebastian products. Her best seller is the medium “La Original” salsa. Mild, hot, and even “La Imposible” are options for each customer’s heat preference. The jalapeno dip is quickly becoming a local favorite with its creamy kick and versatility with a vegan version coming soon! The chimichurri’s smooth consistency and unique bright taste make it hard to save some for a dish versus eating every drop with a spoon! America’s favorite is her salsa verde, which she has perfected through charring fresh tomatillos and finding just the right acidity. Try the sampler salsa and dip pack and don’t forget to add the churros for dessert!
America learned so much through being transparent about what she didn’t know, embracing advice, tirelessly pursuing all marketing opportunities, and refusing to accept “no” or other discouraging words. She states, “You have to feel fearless. If I made it, anyone can, but you must be fully committed. I had managers at the stores teach me. I was not ashamed of what I didn’t know. You have to be open to learning and to being molded.” Now she wants to pay it forward and teach others, especially Latina women, who frequently approach her for advice on the best path to entrepreneurship. Stay tuned as she will no doubt be successful in this next endeavor!