Inside DFW Host, Jenny Anchondo, a hot sauce fan herself, visited with David “Chef Fig” Figueroa, President and Co-Founder of Melinda’s to learn more about the company. As Jenny learned, Melinda’s is a family affair.
“My brother Greg and I have always had the entrepreneurial spirit and always wanted to have a business. We began importing our sauces from Central America in 1989 and later expanded our operation to Colombia, South America,” Figueroa said.
The company started small, with a few products, but later expanded to include 32 craft pepper sauces and condiments. Melinda’s also now has a line of ketchups, preserves and barbecue sauces.
“The idea for Melinda’s stemmed from the lack of quality, real ingredients in the hot sauce market. We wanted to bring something to consumers that would be fresh and not primarily powders and vinegar,” Figueroa said.
He is dedicated to preserving traditional hot sauce making techniques while infusing the products with a unique twist, Figueroa said.
“What really sets us apart from our competitors is that we are innovators. As an independently owned company, going up against competitor brands with big budgets and big companies, we have made a commitment to quality and innovation. For example, we were amongst the first to bring the popular habanero and ghost pepper flavors to the market in the United States,” he said.
Melinda’s still uses fresh fruits and vegetables for its sauces.
“I’m most proud of our ability to maintain quality and interesting products and as a direct result of this, we have skyrocketed Melinda’s to the top 15 fastest growing condiments brand in the country by unit and dollar sales,” Figueroa said.
“I like to call myself a flavor innovator, as I’ve come up with creative hot sauce packaging designs and we’re continuing to launch new products with unexpected flavor profiles,” he said.
Melinda’s is available locally at Walmart, Kroger, Central Market, HEB, Albertson’s and Tom Thumb. You can also get it online at melindas.com .