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Red Pony Salsa's Richard Rhoades Discusses Origin and Growth

Red Pony Salsa's Richard Rhoades Discusses Origin and Growth

Monday, February 19th, 2024

As it is said, necessity is the mother of invention, and Red Pony Salsa is the proof. Over three decades ago, Founder Richard Rhoades saw a hole in the dip market, and voila, the brand was born. Now, the company is impressing consumers across the United States, and it is set on further expansion.

Richard Rhoades, Founder, Red Pony Salsa“I started making salsa from my garden over 30 years ago. I grew a lot of tomatoes and around 20 different peppers, both mild and hot,” explains Richard as he details the Red Pony’s origin. “It took a few years of trial and error to come up with what I have now. In the process, the garden tomatoes contained too much liquid, so I ended up draining off some of that liquid. I hated to throw that away, so I played with the juice and came up with Red Pony's Bloody Mary mix as well.”

After sharing his creation with friend Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series, Richard was inspired to begin selling his salsa. The name of the company was taken from the bar and grill featured in the book series and, eventually, the hit Netflix show.

Fast forward to July 2016, and Richard officially launched Red Pony Salsa at Longmire Days, and it was a success.

Red Pony Salsa is impressing consumers across the United States, and the company is set on further expansion“Since that summer of 2016, the fans of Red Pony Salsa have grown. It is now sold in Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota,” says Richard. “I ship salsa to almost every state in the country—and the connection with the Longmire series has not hurt either."

Red Pony Salsa comes in mild, medium, and hot. Occasionally, Richard makes some extra hot as well. The thing that sets this lineup apart from others is that the company doesn’t use vinegar, which can detract from the fresh flavor.

“I keep it simple; too many producers complicate it by adding too many ingredients. One can always add to a salsa, but once an ingredient is mixed in, you can't take it out,” Richard adds. “When you open a jar of Red Pony Salsa, it smells fresh and tastes fresh from the first bite to the last. It does not look like a spaghetti sauce.”

Red Pony Salsa comes in mild, medium, and hot varietiesOn top of salsa, Red Pony makes Blood Mary mix, and the brand is currently working on candied jalapeño relish that is set to come out this year. Richard also has more in store for consumers.

“I'm hoping to expand the company nationwide," Richard continues. "It's been a challenge, and that's one reason I attended the Winter Fancy Food Show in January in Las Vegas, Nevada. It gave me both exposure and more knowledge to grow my business, plus meeting contacts that I might have never known about. And so far, it's been going well.”

Stay tuned to Deli Market News to see what’s next for this exciting brand.

Red Pony Salsa