Saucy startup finds success with foodies

Saucy startup finds success with foodies

By Linda Baker

0811_SaucyStartupFindsSuccessWhatever you do, don’t call Barcelona’s No. 1 Mole Poblano a chocolate sauce, says Roberto Riquelme, one of three partners at Barcelona Sauces, a year-old company based in Bend. The company’s six “finishing sauces” use a complex mix of whole ingredients — 21 in the case of the Mole — no preservatives or corn syrup allowed. “The secret is the balance,” Riquelme says. “You put it in your mouth and the flavor unfolds like wine.”

Featuring recipes developed by Riquelme’s partner and father, Enrique, who lived in Mexico City before retiring to Bend, Barcelona Sauces is a classic, recession-begets-entrepreneur story. When the real estate collapse limited his work as an architect, Roberto sought out “an alternate solution,” he says.

So far, the gambit seems to be paying off. Targeting foodies who want gourmet taste without the hassle, the company is on track to gross $60,000 a month by the end of 2011. The products are carried by Oregon Whole Foods Markets and other grocers, and hit Seattle stores in July.

About Green Sauce No. 7, one of Barcelona’s best sellers: The recipe includes more than eight different ingredients, including onion, cilantro, tomatillos, garlic and cumin. Please, says Riquelme Jr., don’t call it salsa.