The Salsa Twins Story


jim and john thomas

Twin brothers Jim and John Thomas purchased the El Pinto restaurant from their parents in 1994 and continue to use the same family recipes created by their grandmother, Josephina Chavez-Griggs. To build on the success of the restaurant and to meet the strong demand for their sauces, Jim and John were motivated to produce them for retail distribution.

They started the El Pinto Foods’ salsa division in 2000, so people throughout the country could enjoy El Pinto Salsa and Green Chile Sauce at home. The brothers’ first production site consisted of a 35 gallon kettle and a pump in the kitchen. Today, El Pinto uses 120 tons of chiles a year, makes 2,000 cases a day and have the capacity to make 3-4 million jars a year in their 8,000 square foot salsa production facility which is attached to the El Pinto restaurant.

The quality of El Pinto products begins with the chile. To Jim and John quality control is critical and they compare chile to a fine wine – something that needs to be handled with care. To keep the original flavor, all chiles used in the El Pinto products are grown exclusively to El Pinto specifications and roasted in the same way El Pinto has been roasting them for the past 35 years. In addition, El Pinto only processes jalapeños while they’re in season to ensure optimal quality. To guarantee product quality, all growers are monitored and seeds as well as growing conditions are analyzed throughout the season. As a result from working directly with the growers and giving them the necessary feedback to produce an excellent chile made to El Pinto specifications, Jim and John are able to produce a high quality consistent product.

El Pinto products are prepared using steam injection, pasteurization and a quick cool procedure in order to seal in the roasted flavor and guarantee the highest quality possible.

The authentic flavor and hand-picked ingredients used in El Pinto Salsa makes the product versatile for both snacking and cooking. El Pinto’s Salsa and Green Chile Sauce can be used to spice up everyday dishes such as El Pinto Green Chile Meatloaf and Green Chile Chicken Stew (recipes included in press kit).