Willy’s Salsa debuts several new flavorsWritten by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
There is caution tape plastered on Willy’s Inc.’s website. Dennis Dickey, the brains behind Willy’s Salsa, warns his seven flavors of salsa are “highly addictive.”
“I get emails all the time,” Dickey said. “A lot of people [are] asking what I put in it. They’ll be joking. They’ll say, ‘Hey, we just finished a container of your salsa and now we’re driving across town to get another one.’ Once you start eating it, it’s hard to stop.”
But Dickey said there is no secret in the recipe. The seven flavors, the newest including Holy Frijoles Black Bean ‘N Corn Salsa and Just Peachy Salsa, are made from just a few ingredients.
“Everything that we do is off of one basic recipe,” Dickey said. “The sweet — all that is [added] is cane sugar. And the peach [is the] same thing; it’s cane sugar, peach flavoring … and we use chunks of peaches. The peaches are just for looks; they don’t really add any flavor.”
Dickey said the peach flavor is perfect to put on chicken or fish.
Willy’s Salsa also includes the original recipe in three versions: mild, medium and hot. Dickey likes the hot version best.
“We have the best hot salsa on the planet,” Dickey said. “That’s got habanero and serrano peppers in it. The hot is so good. I love to put it on a baked potato with sour cream and butter. I’ll even stop at Taco Bell, and I’m not even crazy about Taco Bell, but I’ll put a whole container of salsa on like five tacos and it’s really good.”
Dickey said the best feature about his salsa is the freshness. He does not keep his salsa in glass jars because, he said, glass jars of salsa have to be finished quickly or they grow mold.
The one-pound salsa tubs are available for just under $4 at several stores, including Kazmaier’s Market, Giant Eagle, The Andersons and Kroger. Right now, Dickey said between 500 and 600 stores sell Willy’s Salsa in Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.
“We’re bigger [in Michigan] than we are here,” Dickey said. “That’s not the way it should be.”
Dickey’s goals do not stop there. Dickey added that in five years he wants to sell his company and retire.
“We’re going to be a national company,” Dickey said. “That’s my goal.”
Dickey originally worked at what is now InsideOut Home Recreation. He would bring his salsa to parties and his co-workers said he should start selling it. Later, he left his $80,000-a-year job to start Willy’s Salsa.
For more information, visit the web site www.willyssalsa.com.