ROANOKE, Va. – The sound of salsa being made in giant industrial blenders is something Bent Mountain Salsa co-owners Chris Graham and Marlon Major will likely be hearing a lot more of now.
“We truly believe this is a blessing from God and things are just going to keep going well. It’s like a story. They could probably write a movie about the way things have happened," Major said.
On March 3, they delivered their first shipment of salsa to 11 local Kroger grocery stores.
“Our phones are blowing up, our Instagram is blowing up, our Facebook is blowing up," Graham said. "People are saying, ‘Congratulations!’, ‘This salsa is great. I’m going after work today to get it.’”
A chance encounter at a Halloween party in 2018 put them on the path to the grocery store shelves.
“There was a person there from Kroger that enjoyed our salsa," said Major. "The next thing you know, he was like, ‘I want to get you guys into Kroger.’”
Their journey actually began in 2017, however, when they started operating out of the LEAP Kitchen in Roanoke so they could sell their salsa wholesale.
The public kitchen’s director, Sam Lev, said the goal of the kitchen is to help businesses grow or get started.
“It’s so exciting to see Chris and Marlon grow up and mature with their business,” said Lev.
Bent Mountain Salsa is the first business started in the kitchen to have its products sold by a major grocery store chain.
“They work as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen come out of the LEAP Kitchen,” Lev said.
Hard work that is now paying off in a big way.