The Capsicana Story
I founded Capsicana because I absolutely love chillies and Latin American food.
I’ve eaten in many true Mexican cantinas and the inspiration behind Capsicana began back in the late 90’s when I was living with my Dad in Texas. We used to go on road trips all the time – most memorably, to visit friends in cities such as Austin and San Antonio. Both have large Mexican communities and it was here that I first laid on eyes on proper Mexican food, and this soon became my default cuisine of choice, whether we were going out for dinner or I was just grabbing something by the side of the road. Everything about it grabbed me – most particularly all the delicious varieties of chillies. This was the first time I came to understand that chillies are about so much more than just heat. I had no idea at the time that I would go on to set up my own Latin American food business but these were the experiences that laid the foundations for my love of Mexican food. So in the years after returning from Texas I accumulated more and more Mexican cookbooks, hunted out difficult to find ingredients so I could recreate the flavours I’d experienced in Texas, and started to learn about the other cuisines of Latin America. At the end of 2009 I was sitting on my sofa at home on a Saturday afternoon thinking about how I didn’t feel connected with my job in London – I suddenly felt a surge of energy (I think some people call it an epiphany) as I decided to quit London and pursue my dream to set up my own company based around my love of Latin American cuisine.
I began by buying a 5kg bag of chilli flakes and repacking them into zip lock polythene bags, and stapling branded header cards to the tops. Shortly afterwards I bit the bullet and spent ALL of my savings importing a consignment of chillies directly from Mexico. Securing a supplier was hard because every time I called they put the phone down due to language issues. So I called every day for about three weeks until an English speaker picked the phone up and before long my first consignment was on its way! I spent the next couple of years adding more products and working on recipes for my subscribers before deciding that Capsicana needed a fresh look to grow further. I launched the new Capsicana on 24th June 2015 (my birthday!), almost immediately picking up a listing with Whole Foods Market and then Amazon Prime.
Right now I’m working extremely hard to grow Capsicana into a national brand – so hopefully you will bump into my products either in shops, online or perhaps at one of the many events that I attend throughout the year.
As the business grows my focus will be where it always has been – making the best quality and most flavoursome Latin American style products that I can.
Thanks for reading and your support, and if you’re on social media then do get in touch and follow me. My main channels are facebook, twitter and Instagram.