Killer Salsa owner wins Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Gardnerville’s own Killer Salsa owner Fran Pritchard won the Entrepreneur of the Year Pioneer Award on Sept. 24.
The local business owner did not nominate her business for the Northern Nevada Development Association dinner as she had already scheduled her trip to a family event in Upstate Endicott, N.Y.
However, someone else nominated her.
As she was up against some heavy hitters she did not think she had a chance to win.
It has been a challenging couple of years, Pritchard said.
The company changed packaging on the fresh refrigerated Killer Salsa, added more storage space to the factory (which has since been taken away-the added cost was too prohibitive), added 50 more Wal-Mart stores and a new dehydrated Killer Salsa to the product line.
In August Pritchard flew to Bentonville, Ark., to talk to the Wal-Mart Hispanic food buyer about adding more stores in January 2014.
In addition to this, Pritchard’s father died in January 2013, and she had knee replacement surgery with complications the end of January.
“I keep thinking it’s time to slow down but so far it is not happening,” Pritchard said. “I am looking to hire some part-time help for my website and to work on my advertising campaign for the holiday season. And, I am looking for someone who knows Retail Link, the Wal-Mart computer program. I am being drug, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century.”
Pritchard started making Killer Salsa in Carson Valley in January 1993 at the old Deli Stop Sandwich Shop that is now Cowboy Café in Minden.
Her first day of business was Super Bowl Sunday, and she sold 18 pints.
The company now sells to more than 125 grocery stores, three Costco’s, US Foodservice, Harrah’s, Carson Valley Inn and numerous other restaurants in the Reno-Tahoe area.
Pritchard has had a company from Reno interested in purchasing her business, but backed out at the last minute.
She is now sharing her factory with the Italian Hearts Pasta Sauce Company from Reno.
“We make salsa in the morning and they make pasta sauce in the afternoon. So far it works out well,” Pritchard said. “I have some incredible employees that have taken over and run my business for the last year when I was down. They have truly kept me afloat the last nine months. It will be interesting where 2014 will take us.”
Pritchard’s website is http://www.killersalsa.com or contact her at 775-781-1523.