Austinite Rebecca Contreras created Spicy Mama Salsa because friends and family loved her homemade salsa and thought other people would love it too.
If the story ended there, Spicy Mama Salsa wouldn’t be much different from the dozens of other new local products that spring into bottles and packages near you on a monthly basis.
But in my line of work, I’ve learned that everyone has a deeper story to tell – the story of what inspires them to keep going when inevitable challenges arise. After learning Spicy Mama Salsa’s deeper story for myself, I thought it was unique and important enough to share with you. Read on!
Why Spicy Mama Salsa Exists
What you may not know about Rebecca is that she and her husband David founded a non-profit called LaunchPad in early 2008. Through LaunchPad, Rebecca and David have served hundreds of AISD students with after-school programs that range in topic from leadership, to Robotics, to chess. They aim to “equip and enrich the quality of life for disadvantaged youth and undeserved families to build safe, productive, and vital communities.”
To accomplish their mission, LaunchPad doesn’t stop with after-school programs. Rebecca and David believe that a more holistic approach is required to change the lives of their students, so parental engagement is a big priority, as well as community involvement in the form of block parties and family sponsorship during the holidays. “We’re trying to engage with the heart of the challenge,” Rebecca told me.
Though Rebecca and David have both experienced impressive professional success, including governmental work at the White House, they didn’t start there. As children and teenagers, they both experienced broken homes and a lack of direction, and made poor choices in youth. They have been where many of their LaunchPad students are now, and their story instills them with a special empathy that has been extremely effective in reaching young hearts and minds.
To help fund LaunchPad, in a city full of amazing non-profits all looking for funding, Rebecca and David came up with Spicy Mama Salsa. Spicy Mama Salsa is more than an all-natural, fire-roasted, gluten-free product that everyone enjoys (myself included!). With every purchase, Spicy Mama Salsa customers support LaunchPad’s amazing programs because 30% of the company’s profit is given to LaunchPad.
Talk about the best of every world. At the same time, I have the chance to enjoy a high-quality product that’s produced locally and support a local non-profit that has a direct impact on making my community stronger. Kudos to Rebecca and David for thinking outside the box to come up with an inventive funding source for their important non-profit.
So Where Can You Find This Salsa?
I was hoping you’d ask! You have multiple opportunities to sample and purchase Spicy Mama Salsa.
- Pecan Street Festival, September 28-29th. Spicy Mama will have a booth where you’ll have a chance to try the Mild and Hot versions and take your favorite home.
- Wheatsville Co-op at 3101 Guadalupe sells Spicy Mama Salsa, and the new Wheatsville location at 4001 S. Lamar will too! In fact, the Spicy Mama team will be at the new location on October 14th and 20th doing tastings (the Grand Opening is on October 19th, though doors open tomorrow).
- Royal Blue Grocery, with three locations downtown and two more coming soon, also carries Spicy Mama Salsa. When David originally went in to offer samples, the Royal Blue team loved the product and cause. So much so that they’ll be offering it in their new stores.
Spicy Mama Salsa is currently trying to get into Whole Foods. If you have the hook-up, make yourself known!
Are you intrigued enough to check out Spicy Mama Salsa?
Photos courtesy of LaunchPad Facebook page.