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When Hector Saldivar moved from Monterrey, Mexico, to California nearly 15 years ago, he quickly discovered he was missing a taste of home—his mother’s hot sauce.

Lupita Maldonado’s hot sauce was a favorite in the family’s neighborhood when Saldivar was growing up. His friends would invent excuses to come over in hopes of a taste.

“In Mexico, ‘tia’—aunt—is a term of endearment,” he said. “My friends would show up at our house and call, ‘Tia Lupita, I brought some tacos! Do you have any hot sauce?’”

In California, Saldivar scoured retail shops and farmers markets to no avail. Soon, Maldonado began shipping her son bottles of homemade hot sauce. As Saldivar shared the sauce with friends, his supply became in high demand.

With a background in consumer packaged goods at companies such as Nestlé and Diamond Foods, Saldivar saw an opportunity to introduce something unique into the market—if he could convince his mother to share the secret, generations-old family recipe.

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Hector Saldivar in Pacific Sun Magazine

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