Trini Badilla’s Salsa is one of the longest-running locally owned salsa companies in the county.
It gets its name from the original owner’s great-grandmother, Trinidad Badilla, and has had a few owners since. Annie Daellenbach and her husband bought the company last year. They say it’s been a game of catch up getting the recipes just right and adapting to a commercial kitchen.
Why a salsa company?
DAELLENBACH: My husband and I both grew up in Santa Cruz, and when the opportunity to buy it came up, we really wanted it to stay local and keep moving forward. We are both cooks and foodies, and I love to work with ingredients that are really versatile. Salsa is a celebration food—everytime people are gathering they have a bowl of salsa, and it’s right in the middle of everybody, and I love that about it.
We learned how to make it and are just carrying it forward. It’s a dream of mine to have a greenhouse and be able to grow the peppers on site. We currently work with local distributors. We are happy to be able to bring Trini’s recipes to people 36 years later.
Did you ever meet Trini Badilla or her family?
I didn’t, no. It’s had several owners. The company is almost as old as I am. The very first owner of the company, her name is Jade, and Trinidad Badilla was her great-grandmother. We still use her recipes and methods to make the small-batch salsa, which is so special because it’s still honoring the past traditions. That’s kind of why we bought it. It was certainly a big part.
Do you have any new salsas you are hoping to release?
There are only three salsas right now. We do have a fourth, a green salsa, but it has never been in production or stores. We have the recipe and we will be getting it in stores, hopefully by this summer.
Trini Badilla’s Salsa will be at Forks, Corks and Kegs at the Kaiser Permanente Arena, 140 Front St., Santa Cruz, from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday, June 1. Their salsa is available at Staff of Life, Shopper’s Corner, New Leaf Markets and Safeways across the county. trinibadillas.com.