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Tia Lupita Foods

Tia Lupita FoodsHector Salvidar gives the Sharks a taste of Tia Lupita Foods, his line of healthy Mexican food items, in Shark Tank episode 1417. When Hector moved to the USA from his native Mexico back in 2007, his mother sent him along with her home made hot sauce that has “a delightful balance of heat and flavor.” She’d ship him some hot sauce when he was running low and his friends raved about it. Hector, who worked for a number of years in the food industry, asked his mother for her recipe and her blessing to bottle and sell the sauce. Her image is even the company logo.

In 2018, Hector took the plunge and began bottling and selling his sauce. Along the way, he added catus tortilla chips, cactus tortillas, “salsa macha” and other sauces. The tortillas and chips are low calorie and low carb because they’re made from nopales, the prickly pear cactus. They mix the catus with okrah flour to produce a healthy alternative to regular tortillas.

Like most other businesses, Tia Lupita Foods had to pivot during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Most stores weren’t receptive to new products because they were just trying to keep stocked up. Hector pivoted to eCommerce and found success. 2021 sales were $1.5 million and 2022 sales were $3 million. When the pandemic settled down, he got on the shelves and is currently in over 5000 stores in North America, mostly on the east and west coasts. You can buy Tia Lupita Foods products in Safeway, Whole Foods, Wal Mart, Amazon and more. Hector likely wants a Shark to help manage growth for his next phase of success.

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Posts about Tia Lupita Foods on Shark Tank Blog

Tia Lupita – Healthy Mexican Foods

Tia Lupita Foods Shark Tank Recap

Hector enters the Shark Tank seeking $500,000 for 5% of his company. He asks the Sharks to raise their hands if they like to eat tacos; they all do except Daymond who says he hates tacos. Next, he asks the Sharks if they like to eat clean, simple ingredients; they all raise their hands this time. Current Mexican brands use artificial ingredients, binders and fillers. Tia Lupita Foods starts with the world’s most sustainable foods: the cactus which they use in their tortillas and chips. They have two types of tortillas: corn and cactus and cassaba and cactus. Hector believes food is love and eating clean should be easy.

The Sharks taste their samples and they all like them, but the salsa is too hot for Mark. Mr. Wonderful says it’s the best “clean” tortilla he’s tasted. Hector’s mom used to send him care packages from Mexico that include their family recipe hot sauce. He started sharing the sauce with friends and he realized the current Mexican brands in the USA weren’t innovating, so he started selling hot sauce in 2019. He knew he wanted to dispel the myth that Mexican food is unhealthy.

In 2020 he had $900,000 in sales; in 2021 he had $1.5 million in sales and  in 2022 he is projecting $4 million by the end of the year. His first profitable month was last month. He’s selling in Sprouts nationally, 5 regions of Whole Foods, regional accounts in Wegman’s and Wal Mart. He’s in negotiations with Target and Publix too. In 2020 he lost $700,000 and in 2021 he lost $1.2 million, largely due to slotting fees. So far, he’s raised $1.9 million and he’s in the middle of negotiating another round. Hector owns 65% of the company and he invested $700,000 of his own money.

Daymond doesn’t think he’d have the passion for this business; he’s out. Barbara thinks it’s a long, cash rich journey and she doesn’t think the $500,000 will get him there; she’s out. Mark loves the tortilla’s but thinks the business is a grind; he’s out. A bag of cactus chips costs $1.50 and sells for between $3.99 and $4.99 which is competitive with other grain free chips out there. Kevin says he’s been looking for a grain free product for chef Wonderful and this is one of the best he’s tasted. While Kevin thinks, Lori says she’s concerned about the debt; she’s out.

Kevin thinks Hector asked for too much. Hector says he’s worked hard and his dad passed away a month ago. Kevin says he’ll do $500,000 in debt at 12% for 36 months for 10% of the business. Kevin says he’ll get his whole team behind it. Hector is concerned with the 10% equity and Kevin thinks he’ll get diluted. Hector thinks the deal is too rich and asks if Kevin will go lower on the equity. Kevin stands firm. Hector says he’ll do the loan deal at 5% and he’ll guarentee Kevin won’t get diluted. Kevin says “Hector, you have a deal.”

Tia Lupita Foods Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. The first rerun of this episode in July, 2023, is just 3 months after the original air date. At this time, there is no evidence of the deal with Kevin closing. Since airing, in addition to the store he was in, Hector also has product in Kroger’s and Meijer’s stores. The company was also chosen to participate in Pepsi’s Greenhouse Accelerator Program which picks 10 Hispanic-owned food and beverage startups to receive $20,000 in grant funding and participate in a six-month business program designed to accelerate their growth through personalized mentorship. This also makes the company eligible for the final prize of a $100,000 grant to continue its expansion and an opportunity to continue working with PepsiCo to further their growth.

The deal with Kevin ultimately did close. This led to a lot of interest from Venture Capital firms, though no deals have been made as of November, 2023. His grain-free cactus tortilla chips have become the second best seller in the product line after his red jalapeño hot sauce and salsa verde. Reliable revenue figures are unavailable at this time. By April, 2024, the products were in over 5,000 stores like Walmart, Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco, and  Amazon.

The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on Tia Lupita Foods & Hector Salvidar as more details become available.