Tired of ho-hum sauces that lack in flavor? Saucy Lips is here to help. With their flavor-packed, hand-crafted, authentic sauces they are on a mission to transform Mexican cuisine in America by bringing a taste of home to grocery store aisles.
Natalia and Jess grew up in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico eating delicious meals made by their mother, Gabriela. After moving to the US, the family started selling Gabriela's sauces at local farmers markets. Their goal? To share Gabriela's delicious creations and bring families back to the table with good food! With the help of their women-led team, Saucy Lips has expanded to retailers across the country. Read on to see how Natalita, Jess and their team are navigating the future of authentic Mexican cuisine in America.
Before starting Saucy Lips, what were you up to?
Our Family is from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. We grew up eating delicious meals created by our mother Gabriela. Once we moved to the US, she started selling her creations at farmers markets while my brother and I both attended college. Jess went to school for Mechanical Engineering at Rice University in Texas and I studied Psychology at UCLA in Los Angeles. Upon graduation, we both jumped right in to help our mother turn Saucy Lips into what it is today.
What led you to entrepreneurship? What is it like working with family?
Our mother. Back when we lived in Mexico my mom was always making fresh sauces and hot sauces for our family meals. Once we moved to the US she continued making them, it had become our tradition, they felt like home. After a while we decided to share the amazing sauces she was making with the community and started to sell them at Farmers markets. We like working with family because everyone gives 100% of what they’ve got. We all wear multiple hats and help each other to get things done.
What do you think sets Saucy Lips apart from other similar companies?
Our original products were revolutionary, there are no other sauces out there with similar flavors and clean ingredients. They are extremely unique. For the new line of Mexican simmering sauces, although there are already other products in the market, ours are made by a Mexican family, with authentic Mexican recipes and with the added benefit of a clean label.
Since it’s Hispanic Heritage Month, could you talk about the heritage that your sauces represent for you?
Being hispanic is part of who we are. When I think of Mexico the first thing that pops into my head is having a family meal made by my mother. Every time I make a home cooked meal with our products for my son and husband, the flavors of my mom’s home cooking are there and it’s something very special to me.
Who in the industry do you turn to for inspiration?
Maya Kaimal because they innovated the Indian Food category by bringing authentic clean label products for everyone to enjoy.
Any other brands in the industry that you admire?
Cleveland Kitchen for their quick growth. Other Latina founded brands like Agua Bonita, Skinny Souping, The Pinole Project, and Nemi Snacks.
As a founder, what do you do to take care of your health, "turn off" work?
It is very hard especially at the stage we are right now with the new products coming out. When it’s your own business and you wear all the hats we do, there is not clocking in/out. Having a to do list for the week and trying to stay organized helps, otherwise we jump from one project to another and it gets overwhelming.
What advice do you have for early-stage entrepreneurs?
Test your products at farmers markets! We have gotten so much feedback from real customers at the markets and have met so many connections through them.
What does the future look like for the brand, what are you currently working on? Can you tell us about your latest product?
We are currently releasing our Mexican simmering sauces to Whole Foods nationwide and other retailers. We also have a line of Tortilla chips coming out this fall. As we grow and expand from our original line of sauces, we want to continue delivering clean label products, but incorporate more of the rich and authentic Mexican flavors we grew up with.
- Follow Saucy Lips on Instagram @saucylipsfoods
- Purchase Saucy Lips products HERE!
- Watch our IGTV with Natalia here!