Casa Sanchez Foods was founded by Roberto and Isabel Sanchez, who were immigrants from Zacatecas in Mexico. The company was originally named R. Sanchez and Company and was based in Northern California. The founders started the business in the 1920s and their business became the first tortilla factory to become fully mechanized.
The company’s tortilla products were sold by the pound and were wrapped in paper, then tied with a string. For the company logo, the founders came up with “Jimmy the Cornman,” inspired by their grandson Jimmy. The logo shows him riding a rocket made of an ear of corn. The company’s Spanish slogan sends the message that all products are natural and have authentic flavors.
In the later part of the 1960s, the company’s second generation of leaders decided to expand its operations to the Mission District of San Francisco, where a large population of prospective Latino customers were located. The company started selling its products to restaurants, particularly its corn tortilla products. To accompany its tortilla chip products, the company also introduced new products like salsas (both hot and mild) as complementary foods. These salsas were sold by the company in tubs to restaurants.
In 1999, Casa Sanchez launched its “Jimmy the Cornman” tattoo promotion for its products. With a tattoo of Jimmy the Cornman, a person will receive a free lunch for life. Proof of the marketing campaign’s success is the attention that it got from Forbes Magazine. The company resurrected the marketing campaign in March of 2010.
In 2004, Casa Sanchez Foods outsold other major salsa-producing companies in the area of Northern California. This achievement lasted for a total of 52 weeks. In the same period, Casa Sanchez’s mild salsa also outsold salsa products sold under private labels.
In 2007, the company started to produce new vegetarian Mexican products, pupusas (a cross between an empanada and a quesadilla) and tamales.
Currently, third and fourth generation leaders of the company (who are also members of the Sanchez family) have created over nine guacamole dips and salsas for the product line. Their tortilla chips (which are all-natural and organic), both thick and thin, are still made using the family’s original recipes. The company’s salsa products are considered first and second among other brands in the area of Northern California.
• Headquarters: San Francisco, California
• Ownership Type: Private
• No. of Employees: information not available
• Geography: USA
• Demography: retail snack food consumers, salsa and Mexican food consumers