I recently had a chance to interview one of the leaders of Tres Pupusas about their great new product. They are this week’s Celiac and the Beast sponsored brand. We’d love to shine a light on this great product, that – THANKFULLY – just got stocked at my local Whole Foods!
Before we start off – I’m sure some of you asked in your head, “what’s a pupusa?” A pupusa – besides being very awkward to type over and over again in a blog post – is a corn masa tortilla stuffed with yumminess. A pupusa is naturally gluten-free.
Why did this company start? Is there a story behind why the product was initially created?
Briefly, my wife started the business 8 years ago at a stand in the Boulder County Farmer’s Market (side note from Erica – how amazing is a women-owned business – right?!?!). She became acquainted with pupusas through our children’s bi-lingual school in Boulder and recognized that the patrons at the market would appreciate its uniqueness as well as its naturally gluten free traits and all around great taste.
My wife, Cindy, is still at the farmer’s markets, but she launched her wholesale business a few years ago with just a couple of grocery stores in Boulder. Now, she’s in 1000 stores in 43 states, and offers 5 vegetarian flavors, all naturally gluten free: Pinto Bean & Cheese, Green Chile & Cheese, Spinach & Cheese, and two vegan flavors: Black Bean & Corn and Kale & Pinto Bean.
With this product being naturally gluten-free, did you know that it would be such a hit with the gluten-free community? Why did you want your product to be gluten-free?
Cindy realized that the Boulder community would gravitate toward a unique latin product that was naturally gluten free. The timing was perfect as gluten-free has entered the mainstream mindset. Pupusas are stuffed corn tortillas, originating from El Salvador and although there are varieties of different types of tortillas you can make (such as rice), we didn’t want and didn’t need to alter the origin to have them be gluten free.
I noticed that you had vegan and vegetarian products. Do you think this is important when appealing to the food allergy or specialty diets community?
We are proud of our “clean” ingredients list and the fact that you don’t have to sacrifice taste or experience with a clean ingredient list. We were recently recognized by Prevention Magazine as one of this year’s winners of “clean” ingredients for frozen foods. And the fewer the ingredients, the less chance someone has to have a negative reaction or experience, which makes us feel great about our product.
Where is your company now and where do you hope to be in 5 years? Can we expect more product innovation and more distribution in the future?
We are in 1000 stores nationwide, and have coast-to-coast distribution capabilities. The major retailers that carry us include Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, New Seasons, Lunds & Byerly’s, Central Market, and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage. We have commitments from a number of other stores as well. As far as new products, we introduced two new meat flavors at ExpoWest in March.
To find Tres Pupusas near year, visit their STORE LOCATOR here.
**DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by Tres Pupusas, but has not affected my love and affection towards their kale and pinto bean pupusas.**