Evelyn Rivera had no idea that a snack craving two years ago, would turn into a business.
“I was going to snack on something. Chips and salsa was my regular thing, you know the store bought stuff. I went to the cabinet and I had chips but no salsa,” explained Rivera. “So I thought, I can make this, and so I started my ingredients like most Spanish people do, a little bit of this and little bit of that a viola, and that’s how Muchacha salsa was born.”
After it was a hit with her neighbors and friends, Rivera decided to sell her creation, launching Muchacha salsa in June of this year.
Four months and three flavors later, her product can be found in eight local restaurants and stores including both Braconi’s Pizzaria locations and Caputo’s here in Naperville.
Evelyn credits her mom, who immigrated to the U.S. from Puerto Rico, for teaching her the importance of hard work, Hispanic food, and her heritage.
“[My mom] always just made good food. I remember her saying how important it was,” said Rivera. “As a Hispanic, everything revolved around food morning, noon, and night because you never know when a cousin or neighbor is going to stop by. So we always cooked in big amounts.”
Rivera invited me into the kitchen to show me how her salsa comes together and what makes it stand out.
“Muchacha salsa is a cross between Mediterranean and Caribbean. It’s not a Mexican flavor, but being Puerto Rican, I got a little bit of that in there,” said Rivera.
Overall, Rivera is glad to be sharing not only her salsa, but also her heritage and hopes to inspire someone else into following their dreams.
“Hispanics are from Mexican, to Columbian, to Guatemala you just have all Spanish speaking and we all are so proud,” said Rivera. “I just want to say to my brothers and sisters in the Hispanic community just get out and do it, show them what it’s all about.”
Because of the success of her salsa, Rivera has decided to expand her brand with Muchacha chips.
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