Desert Pepper Trading Company was born and raised on the border of Texas , Mexico, and New Mexico. This amazing crux of bright flavors, sunlight, and the desert Southwest inspires us in every way.. Our flavors come from a sunswept fusion of the southwest, the open air makets of Mexico, and our own kitchens. We look backwards into the culinary traditions of the border regions and forward to global new flavors and ideas. This is a multi-generational famliy run business… that’s right, real people running a real company. Over 25 years now (where did that time go?), growth,change and more than a few margaritas later…we are still at it. Desert Pepper continues to thrill, delight and scare the hell out of us!
Sincere, authentic, and original…. thats what we are all about.
Norma Kerr & W. Park Kerr ca 1980s - This is where it all began....Norma & Park selling chile ristras.
Our roots run really deep in the food/salsa/margarita world. And, what a loco world….this is our story……(told by me, W. Park Kerr…Founder).
Where to begin with this one? I was born and raised here on the border of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. This huge cultural collision is a new culture on every level. I call this mix “Border Regional Food”….it embodies elements from Mexico, cowboy, New Mexico, Texas….
Our story is pretty interesting (I love all stories like this too). Literally, we started our business on the street corner (no, not that kind of business!). I started out selling chile ristras and chile wreaths to make date money. I was given a great idea to bring this concept of chile garland wreaths to Dallas, and take them to Neiman Marcus. Well, I did and hell, they bought them for the Xmas catalog. Then on to the Horchow Collection…where one of my wreaths landed on the cover of the holiday food catalog (thank you Margaret Ann Cullum). And, we were in business.
Well, that was all well and good for 3 months out of the year……so, what do you do with the other 9 months….hmmmm…SALSA! Our dear mother, Norma Kerr, makes what can only be described as the best damn chili ever. I commercialized her recipe and took that to market. Welcome to the food business!
In the 1980s, the gourmet food thing was beginning to happen. Regional foods were just starting to spark around the country. I had this amazing-fantastic-brilliant idea to bottle up our everyday table salsa. We did not know words like “boutique or artisan” then, but that’s what it was. A true American classic: El Paso Chile Company’s “Salsa Primera” . El Paso Chile Company is the original food business that later morphed into the number one specialty salsa brand : “Desert Pepper Trading Company”.