About the campaign
Los Roast had its first New Mexico chile roasting season in Portland, OR in 2012. A ton of chile (literally!) was ordered from Hatch, NM and delivered to our driveway, where we roasted non-stop for the short harvest season. Through our seasonal operation, we caught the attention of local restaurants on the hunt for chile year-round, and customers who would write when their supply of frozen chile ran out from the previous harvest, begging us for more.
Los Roast worked towards turning into a year-round operation. In March 2014 we were able to launch our shelf-stable product line. Using only lime juice, garlic, and salt as preservatives. Our roasted, peeled, and chopped green chile is grown in the famous fields of Dona Ana and Luna Counties, NM. We became the first company operating outside of New Mexico to have our green chile verified by the New Mexico Dept of Agriculture.
At first, local chile lovers thought it was too good to be true. However once they tasted the subtle growing spice, and the fullness of flavor that can only be accomplished by varieties grown in New Mexico, our chile was quickly picked up by Portland's independent grocers, New Seasons Markets, and local restaurants like The Blue Goose and Meat Cheese Bread.
Soon after Los Roast chile was found on The Oregonian's #1 and #2 "Five Best Green Chile Cheese Burgers in Portland." We were one of The Portland Monthly 2014 Food Lover's Guide "Kitchen Pantry Essentials." During last year's roasting season, The Portland Business Journal featured Los Roast for a cover story, detailing the companies quick growth and the quality and pride we bring to our chile.
We currently offer three varieties of Green Chile each with their own heat level from Mild to Hot. We launched our Roasted Red Chile in December and it's quickly growing in popularity. Los Roast is one of the first companies to offer Red Chile in it's "wet" form, and this season we'll be roasting Red Chile in October once it's fully ripened.
We've also expanded our network of New Mexican family farms this season, and we'll be shipping five varieties of fresh chile directly from the farms to wholesalers throughout the Northwest region.
Our Next Step, How You Can Help
Los Roast has been operating out the Cathedral Park Place building in St. Johns, and recently leased an additional space for a local chile processing kitchen. We received our building permits earlier this month, and have contractors lined up to complete the build-out. If we can raise the money before the harvest, we will be able to complete our kitchen and process fresh roasted chile in Portland this season, as well as bolster our year-round product line.
During the season, chile arrives weekly from New Mexico to be roasted for customers. In past seasons, we would risk running out of chile early in the week, or stuck with extra chile at the end. This year, because we are working with regional wholesalers, we will be moving a lot more chile! However this also adds pressure to have more on hand, and raises the risk of spoilage if we misjudge our forecast for the week. The farmers and pickers work so hard to get it to us, the desert has kept each pepper hydrated from its limited water source. There are only so many grown every year that have last till the next. It breaks our hearts to have to throw away a single precious pepper! Once we have a processing facility, we will be able to ensure every pepper we order this season is enjoyed by the many people who crave it.
After the season, we will put the facility to use and fulfill another of our customers requests to add traditional red and green chile sauce to our year-round line. We plan on slowly, building our products to include sauces, salsa, and dried chile powders and pods. In keeping with our current standards, our kitchen will produce small 40 gallon batches, all of our chile will continue to be sourced directly from our farmer network. This 475 sq ft is far from a huge facility that sacrifices quality or strays from New Mexico grown chile. We promise to always produce all natural, non-gmo, and gluten free recipes. We plan on continuing to provide the best chile New Mexico has to offer, not just the best chile in the Northwest. While Oregon and Washington might not be the best place to grow chile, we are lucky our new kitchen will be so close to the source of other great crops that will surely find their way into our salsas and sauces.
Buy a Square= Support Jesse and Marshall + More Chile For You!
Help us in our mission to spread the love of New Mexico chile, not only because its spice is amazing, it's flavor is unique, it can be put on anything, and you can't stop eating it! Help us continue to grow and protect the industry which is so vital to our home-state.