Califonia Bountiful

The secret to salsa success

Two families come together to create a top-selling Mexican classic

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At the Casa Sanchez factory in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's not hard to taste their secret to success. It is equal amounts of talent, perseverance and a rich family tradition that begins and ends with a passion for food.

For more than 60 years, the Sanchez family has dished out some of the freshest and most flavorful Mexican classics. The No. 1 seller is their fresh salsa, still made from the original family recipe featuring fresh California-grown tomatoes that are slow roasted to create an intense, spicy flavor. Casa Sanchez salsa has grown to become the best-selling fresh salsa brand on store shelves in California.

Today, the successful line of food products is run by the next generation of the Sanchez family: Martha Sanchez, her brother Bob and nephew Robert look after the family business that continues to grow. While they have introduced several new items to their family's line of products, their philosophy on food hasn't changed: Everything must be made from scratch, with the best ingredients possible.

And they don't have to look far to find the most prized ingredient in their family's salsa recipe. All of the tomatoes for their homemade salsa come from Live Oak Farms in the Central Valley and, just like the Sanchez family, the Giampoli family is part of a multi-generational family business.

Brother-and-sister team Bob and Donna run the family farm started back in 1929 by a live oak tree. And that is still the location the family calls headquarters for the farm, which has evolved quite a bit. They now grow and pack several different crops, but their biggest seller remains tomatoes. During their peak season, they harvest upwards of 700,000 pounds of tomatoes a day. The fruit is then shipped to food-service companies across the United States, including Casa Sanchez. 

Two families. Two long histories in the world of food. One connection. And just like the vines on a tomato plant, they are intermingled in a special way that they hope others can savor as well.

For more information about Casa Sanchez, visit For more information about Live Oak Farms, visit

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