Tom Pfleider, CEO of Pfleider Pfoods, the manufacturers of The Art of Chipotle line, said the homemade sauce made by the host’s girlfriend was served over fajitas at a friendly get together. “It had never been written down until I contacted her and bought the recipe.” Pfleider said. In less than a year from discovering the sauce, he moved it into mass production. At its first appearance at a food show, the original sauce, dubbed “Sweet Heat Addiction”, won an award and sold out. Since then, Pfleider has developed three additional sauces, a gourmet paste and four salsas – all of which are combinations using chipotles (chee-POHT-lehs), medium-heat smoked jalapenos.
The Pfleider family, Tom, Christina, Taryn and Evan are all featured as jalapenos on every Art of Chipotle label – keeping the products family-oriented and close to home for Tom, who gets help from his wife and daughter, Christina and Taryn respectively, running the company.
Pfleider isn’t sure where his venture will lead but he said what started out as a hobby or maybe a mid-life crisis is being sold in 45 states. “It gets a little crazy but it’s fun,” he said.