The best salsa uses only fresh tomatoes – never paste, puree, or water.
Just ask Greg Shepherd, founder of Stadium Salsa and Cardinal Stritch Catholic alum. Shepherd, 44, fondly recalls his time at Stritch.
His curriculum focused on advanced math and art, and he spent four years on the Cardinal basketball team. “I had a great time. The values and ethics my parents taught me were reinforced at Cardinal Stritch,” Shepherd said. “Those values and ethics still guide my career today.”
|Greg Shepherd, founder of Stadium Salsa|
Graduating in 1986, Shepherd enrolled at Bowling Green State University, intent on a degree and future in the arts. After two years, he did the math. “Turns out the real money in the arts is limited to a select few at the top,” he said. After transferring, he earned a marketing management degree from the University of Toledo. And it was then that he discovered salsa.
For years, Shepherd and his wife, Heather, served up their home-made salsa for family and friends at football games and backyard outings. Tailgaters raved about their recipe.
In 2006, they got serious. Incorporating Stadium Salsa, they joined a Bowling Green cooperative kitchen. After a year spent refining their recipes, networking, and launching a website, Stadium Salsa was ready to move from outside stadiums to inside stores. The Shepherds made the sales calls; a Celina firm did the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping.
Stadium Salsa has captured loyal and hungry customers in six states. It is available at dozens of groceries, including The Andersons, drug stores, carryouts, and eateries. As the brand grew, so did the Shepherd family.
A father of four young children, Greg said he is thankful for the income and benefits his full-time sales job for a diagnostics company provides.
He knows there are no guarantees in the food business; shelf space is limited, and consumer tastes change.
“Listen, Stadium Salsa is great fun. We go to food shows and make presentations to big stores,” Shepherd said. “We think there are a lot more Stadium Salsa fans in our future.”