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Tia Lupita Is More Than a Bottle of Hot Sauce

Tia Lupita Hot Sauce on a taco

Behind the condiment is a story of an immigrant building bridges

Hector Saldivar’s dream wasn’t to be a successful business owner or to create a legacy. His dream was to unite people through food and remind them that no matter who you are, we’re all human.

“I believe that food has always had the power to unite,” Saldivar, 42, said firmly in his deep, warm voice. “It doesn’t matter what your point of view, your religion, or your language is. If food is on the table and we’re both hungry, we’re gonna eat.”

Saldivar is the founder of Tia Lupita Hot Sauce, sold in over 800 stores nationwide, with more than 10,000 bottles produced monthly. The Tiburon resident sources his hot-sauce ingredients from Santa Clara County. Just recently, the two-year-old company expanded its product line of three flavors of hot sauce — original, salsa verde, and chipotle — to tortillas and chips made entirely from cactuses that only grow in Mexico.

Tia Lupita isn’t just about hot sauce, but also about family. The hot sauce, which can be found in Whole Foods and other natural grocers, has a distinct bottle. The label art features a drawing of a smiling woman—Saldivar’s mother, Tia Lupita—with an inviting round face and a curler in her hair.

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Hector Saldivar of Tia Lupita

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