CORPUS CHRISTI — From a home kitchen to Texas stores, now one local entrepreneur’s salsa made its debut in Hollywood.
Alissa Peña, the woman behind Jalapeña’s Salsa teamed up with actor and movie director, Kevin Smith to produce Salsa Shark.
“I’m a ginormous fan," Peña said. "Like an actual fan and so I lost my mind.”
The brains behind films like Mall Rats, Chasing Amy, and the Clerks franchise, when he’s not behind the camera, Smith plays the beloved character, Silent Bob.
To add to the fan experience, Smith took many of the fictional brands featured in his movies and made them a reality.
“These restaurants called Mooby’s. And at the Mooby’s restaurant pop-ups, they sell T-shirts and stuff like that,” Cliff Weiner said.
Jalapeña’s was chosen to represent the salsa enjoyed by one of Smith’s characters, Randall.
“Ok Salsa Shark, you know clerks reference, we’re gonna need a bigger boat,” Peña said.
She added that her mother made salsa for the family, serving it at different events and parties.
It was such a hit, a few years ago, Peña started bottling it and Jalapeña Salsa was born. Her mother’s recipe, Prissy’s original.
It is sold in local stores like Boarri, Sewbonita, Total Wine, and more in cities as far as Austin.
“One of our founders Alex was in Texas and went to a total wine, who she also made salsa for, tried it and said ‘I love this,” Cliff Weiner, co-founder of Jade City Foods said. “ And so from there he tracked her down and was like ‘Hey do you wanna make salsa for us?”
“I was super excited,” Peña said. “I said yes absolutely.”
Jade City Foods is a company that gets the rights to different intellectual properties.
“We create the products or we work with the chefs who create the products and we use them for various properties,” Weiner said. “We became friends with Kevin so now we’re Kevin’s food guys.”
Weiner said Peña was already supplying her salsa for their Godzilla brand.
“If we bring in other brands that we wanna give salsa to, she would be the person that would make the house blends for any brand that we work with,” Weiner said.
The product was created with Smith largely to promote the upcoming Clerks III movie.
“Nothing is going to change with Jalepeña’s,” Pena said, “I'm still going to do all my retail, pop up and everything but they just ordered another giant order this morning.”
The official Salsa Shark is sold on the Jade City Foods website.