We had the good fortune of connecting with octavio orozco and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi octavio, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I’m Octavio Orozco. I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Mexico, but have lived for more than 15 years in the United States. For 25 years I had an exciting but demanding career in advertising. This included global agencies with the management of accounts in different industries and countries (Automotive, CPG, Tourism, Airlines and Entertainment.)
In 2015 I began to look for a project I could share with my children, a way to introduce them to entrepreneurship and mentor them while growing a family business. What I found was Chilesquiles.

Inspired by a traditional Mexican comfort food I grew up eating, this dish is based on fried corn tortillas and a special sauce that cooks the ingredients of your choice. When I realized that there was no special sauce on the market to cook this dish, I knew I had found the passion project I wanted to share with my children. Chilesquiles sauce preparation can be elaborate, butI knew I could offer a solution with a fresh recipe made from scratch, jarred, and ready to cook.

The salsa category is saturated with offerings in the marketplaces, but also has a value of more than $1.4 billion and growth of almost 2% per year. My focus was to maintain the essence of authentic Mexican artisanal recipes, made from scratch with a homemade taste and natural ingredients.

It has been 5 years since I started this venture that now has a complete line of products integrating: Cooking Sauces, Salsas, Tortilla Chips, Guacamoles and fresh Salsas Pico de Gallo.

I am proud that this idea, which originated from a homemade recipe, has become a brand made in Texas but is enjoyed across the country. . I have managed to commercialize Chilesquiles in different independent stores, develop an e-commerce platform and established a monthly subscription program for our most loyal customers.

Consistency, authenticity, preparation and quality ingredients are an essential part of Chilesquile’s success. I feel it’s a great honor when customers share their recipes with me and how Chilesquiles has become a staple in their home as it was in mine. .

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Chilesquiles turned 5 in October 2021, and as of today we have exceeded a 300% sales growth since 2017. It started as an educational family project selling at local farmers markets in the suburbs of Houston. Now our products are in over 60 stores across the country, we have a growing e-commerce presence with our online sales including a subscription program for our most loyal followers.

The pivotal moment for Chilesquiles came in 2018, our family project had become my passion. I found myself reevaluating where and how I wanted to spend my energy, saying goodbye to an all consuming career in advertising. I have dedicated 100% of my time growing Chilesquiles. Yes, my previous experience in marketing and advertising has helped me apply the business and communication strategies necessary to develop the Chilesquiles brand, have product extensions, enter new categories, and conquer new markets.

Not surprisingly, being close to the customers in the farmers’ markets has acted as the perfect Research & Development lab. When many big brands are moving farther away from buyers’ feedback, with their only product goal to take up a larger share of the supermarket shelf, I credit direct customer feedback for the remarkable growth of Chilesquiles over the last five years. Chilesquiles offered three cooking sauces as a line of products that could confidently claim to be of highest quality, consistent, artisan level authentic Mexican flavors.

In 2019 I planned an expansion and started traveling around the country to reach new states. I did a series of events in the Southwest, Southeast and Midwest regions. I targeted these areas as I found there were limited offers of authentic Mexican food coupled with a great appreciation for handmade products.

That same year Chilesquiles contracted with a national distributor which brought with it the opportunity to reach a larger number of independent retailers: local general stores, small supermarkets and specialty gift boutiques.

2020 was, of course, the most challenging year as the world faced the pandemic. Scrambling with everyone else, I explored offering customers online sales, home delivery, and coordinated free shipping nationwide. Being one of the essential groups Chilesquiles was able to keep the production lines open, allowing for a 30% increase in sales compared to the previous year.

I must also give credit to how eager the community was to attend the farmers’ markets and outdoor grocery outlets in a concerted effort to support local small businesses.

With time on my hands I ventured into a new category of fresh salsas and introduced Chilesquiles Guac to the farmers’ markets, which is now considered one of the best fresh Guacamoles in Houston.

By 2021 the fresh salsa line had grown with the introduction of 3 flavors of Chilesquiles Pico de Gallo: Jalapeño, Serrano and Habanero. That year also brought not only an expanded presence in more retail stores in Texas, but also in California, Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have recently moved to the Montrose neighborhood and I enjoy visiting the cafes, restaurants and taking my children to the museums.

One of my favorite places in the area is The Menil Collection. You can spend a nice afternoon visiting its galleries, walking through its parks and spending a few moments in the Rothko chapel.

A few steps away is the 93 til restaurant which is a very laid back place with seasonal food, great cocktails and excellent selection of music.

The Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is a great experience to view collections of modern and contemporary international art and you can also visit the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University.

The weekend farmer’s markets are a great place to discover local artisanal products. Houston is a very diverse and culinary city, many local chefs have their small stalls where they prepare amazing meals with unique flavors. Saturdays at Urban Harvest and Sundays at Rice Village and Heights Mercantile.

If you are interested in shopping 19th Street in The Heights offers an interesting variety of unique boutiques; my favorite is Manready Mercantile which has quirky gifts, men’s clothing and accessories. You can then stop by the Asch Building which is a collection of stores including a small food market, women’s clothing and home goods stores. While there you can have lunch with local chef Jane Wild and her food truck @phyllisjane.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to my 5 children who have been the motivation of the Chilesquiles project since it started in 2015 with 3 recipes made at home. To Ainoha, Galo, Matias, Bruno and Zoe all my love.

And I want to express my gratitude for the support and affection that Lorelei Rao has given me in these last months. Thank you for believing in me.

Website: http://chilesquiles.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chilesquiles/?hl=en

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/octavio-orozco-a7101a5/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Chilesquiles

Image Credits
Lorelei Rao

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