102 Old Eastwood Road, Wilmington
No. of employees: 1
Year founded: 2017
Top local official: Rachel Ann Willoughby, owner
Company description: RAWsalsa is a local, independent maker and seller of smallbatch, fresh salsas.
Products made locally: The company makes its signature fresh tomato and fresh pineapple salsas and the occasional seasonal salsa varieties.
Product distribution: Tidal Creek Co-Op and area markets including Wilmington Farmers Market, Riverfront Farmers’ Market, Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market, Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market and the Poplar Grove Farmers’ Market
What made the company decide to make its goods locally?
Willoughby: “I couldn’t find really good salsa in stores, so I decided to make it myself. It was actually 17 years ago that I made my first batch. I gave a lot of it away and in doing so I developed a following.
“I started out at the Burgaw Incubator Kitchen and just moved into a commercial kitchen of my own in February. Having my own kitchen enables me to make smaller custom batches for people who prefer not to eat certain ingredients or those who prefer it milder or hotter. Having this kitchen also enables me to experiment with new recipes.”
What’s your target market?
Willoughby: “My target market are locals or visitors who want to enjoy salsa while they’re here. It is a refrigerated product so shipping is not advised.”
What’s planned next?
Willoughby: “Occasionally I will make seasonal versions of fresh salsa. For example, I’m currently developing a blueberry salsa. I’ve reached out to Altar Cross Farms and hope to source my blueberries from them.
In November I do a fresh cranberry salsa that is amazing on turkey. It’s also really great on chips. I am interested in developing a recipe for a fresh peach salsa in the future. I’m also in the process of trying to grow my own cilantro hydroponically. I’m just getting started with that. Wish me luck.”