Mrs. A�s Salsa Buena is All Natural. It contains no additives, preservatives, added salt or artificial ingredients.

Flavors of Mrs. A's Salsa:
Original Traditional
Pineapple Mango
Salsa Verde
Rojo Loco

Find Mrs. A�s Famous Salsa Buena at a store near you: store locations.

Contact Mrs. A about classes she teaches in the Bay Area.

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Mrs. A's Salsa Buena

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Contact: Leah Aguayo
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  Mrs. A's Salsa Buena

The students in Leah Aguayo�s high school ceramics classes receive treats along with teaching. Their favorite? Her salsa. �I began sharing my salsa with my students in 1996,� Leah recalls. �In 2003, I had a particularly feisty group in third period. They kept pushing me to market it.�

Mrs. A, as she is known to her students, has an important place in their hearts for a lot of reasons. She is a good listener and is available to her students for personal chats. Every year, a "Souper Bowl" fundraising event is organized with the school's culinary club. Hundreds of handmade bowls are made in Leah�s classes, and participants have a soup supper, after which they get to take home the bowl they used.

"I care about my students, and I want them to know that," said Aguayo, who moved to the area to attend UC Santa Cruz with her husband Rafael in the 1970s. "I�m here to embrace their hopes."

In turn Leah�s students have enthusiastically supported her new venture, both with their encouragement and with their own skills. Her class helped her come up with the salsa�s name; Ed Chow, one of her students, designed the sun at the center of her logo; and another student, Daniel Yang, designed the product�s label.

Working with a consultant at the Small Business Development Center at Cabrillo College, she learned about the requirements for a commercial kitchen. �I also had to research trademarks, label makers, bar codes, and product liability insurance,� Leah says. �Then I had to test market the salsa, have the nutritional content and shelf life analyzed. It�s a lot to do!�

Most importantly to Leah, she also went through the long and arduous process of getting her salsa certified organic.

All her efforts, combined with a product that was already �famous� with her students, paid off. At the start of 2004 Mrs. A�s Salsa was in stores.

When it came to marketing Mrs. A�s Salsa Buena, she had many allies among her formers students. One is the buyer for a grocery store and was able to place her product in the refrigerated section of the store. The family of another student gave her valuable advice and assistance in finding a commercial co-packer who would maintain the flavors and quality that were crucial to her salsa.

Leah�s involvement in her local community includes sponsoring baseballs teams. �When my son plays, both his team and the opposing team have our Salsa Buena in the bleachers!�

"Rafael and I have invested money from our savings in that container of salsa that I demo and sell on Saturdays," said Aguayo, who has no plans to give up teaching. "I know we�re just this little guy, but I�m very proud of our salsa."

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