Here’s To Friends and Neighbors!
Today we celebrate you! We know we have the best friends and neighbors and we count ourselves lucky indeed!
Take our friend and neighbor, Kaye for example. A second-generation baker, she is our go to person any time we need something sweet to share. She is the first person who introduced us to the idea of marrying chocolate with our roasted chipotle salsa, and is the inspiration for their love-child, Chocolate Chipotle Brownies. Check out this easy-breezy Kaye-Inspired recipe! Feel free to celebrate your friends with your favorite brownie recipe. Trust me when I say, they will love you for it!
Another group of friends (and now 'neighbors') many of you have had the pleasure of meeting, is our friend Traci and her three sons, Ayden, Luke and George. Together, they are 3 Sons Foods. Many of you have also had the opportunity to enjoy their Diablo Verde creamy cilantro sauce. You’ve also been able to hear how they donate a portion of their proceeds to support Rhino and Wolf Conservation.
We met Traci and her boys in 2018 when they joined us at our first Salsa Festival benefiting the Community Garden Kitchen of Collin County. With their hearts for service, not to mention their tasty creamy cilantro sauce, Traci and her sons not only won the hearts of McKinney, but they won almost every award we had to offer!
As Traci recalls that fun day, she remembers, “We were still selling Diablo Verde at our local Farmer’s market when we received a personal invite from Michele Bernard with Bernard's Gourmet Foods. Just to be spotted by another salsa company and invited to their festival was like “WOW… we’re going places now!”
“So, on July 3rd 2018, we packed up as much Diablo Verde as we could fit in my old Suburban and traveled to McKinney, TX,” says Traci, “It was a hot Texas 4th of July and we had a line 20 people deep most of the day. To say we were busy from 11 in the morning to 3 that afternoon selling Diablo Verde like it was essential for life existence, is a bit of an understatement.”
“After the festival ended, the award competition started! The boys and I closed our booth and gathered with the other salsa vendors in anticipation and hopes of being noticed. First, they awarded the Red Sauce Category and then it was Green Sauce and then Overall Champions. We kept hearing 3SonsFoods, once, twice, three times, and then a 4th time!! We had won the People’s Choice award, 1st and 2nd in the Green Commercial category and then 1st place in Specialty! There were four of us and four awards, so we were more than proud and so thankful to Star-Spangled Salsa Festival for the opportunity and the confirmation that our hard work was recognized! We got to introduce our sauce to a new market, we raised money to feed people in need, we brought awareness to rhino conservation and came home with a few awards. Happy Independence Day!!!”
“In 2019, the boys and I traveled back to gorgeous McKinney, TX and competed in the Second Star-Spangled Salsa Fest hosted by Bernard’s Gourmet Foods. Michele and David, who own Bernard’s Gourmet Foods have become really great friends of ours and as fellow HEB Quest Winners, we are business friends as well! Our business missions are in alignment-- we both want to give back through selling sauce-- so 3SonsFoods is always happy when we receive an invite from them to compete! And on July 4, 2019 Diablo Verde dominated the Green Sauce Category! Winning awards for both People’s Choice and Judges was exciting, however, being able to provide meals to the Community Garden Kitchen was the icing on the cake! Each jar of Diablo Verde already benefits rhinos; but to then be able to participate in a festival that raises money to feed people is so exciting to a family business that cares about the environment, the community, and wants to make the world a better place through entrepreneurship!”
It has been an absolute joy to bear witness to and celebrate the success Traci and her sons enjoy today. We are so proud to be their “Picante Aisle Next Door Neighbors” in H-E-B grocery stores throughout Texas!
Speaking of next door neighbors, let me finish this celebration of friendship by remembering this writer’s favorite and best friend.
His name is David and he was the boy next door. And, way back when, he loved me as much as any thirteen-year- old boy knows how to love. Thing is, I didn’t know this part of our love story until much later in life. But what I did know at thirteen, was by choice and by circumstance, that sweet boy named David who lived next door to me, was very much the best and closest friend a girl like me could have then and also now. It’s the kind of sustaining friendship that I never doubted then, nor do I doubt now.
Today, David and I both believe that the strong foundation of a friendship grown over decades is what makes our marriage and our business partnership able to withstand the tests of time. The highs, and especially the lows. The silver linings and silly punchlines. And, the love imbued grace we receive in the meantime.
All THAT to say today, Here’s To Friends and Neighbors! Today we celebrate you!
Find Bernard's Gourmet Foods Products and 3 Sons Diablo Verde at your H-E-B