OKLAHOMA CITY — It’s been 28 Super Bowls since Mary Buthman started packing up hot sauce to demo at grocery stores and state fairs.
“I would pack up and go to every show and fair,” she says. “I was the most naïve person in the world.”
Pictures and empty jars help tell the story of Maria Rae’s which started with a restaurant in Enid, and with a young mom who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“I really like promoting it. I really like talking about it,” says Buthman. “I love the salsa. I eat about a half jar a day whether I need it or not.”
Mary’s kids are all grown up but her made in Oklahoma salsa is a satisfying success story in a lot more places than just Enid.
Then Todd Jackson has a few ideas.
He is the purveyor of El Rancho salsas made in Oklahoma City.
Jackson boasts, “I buy all the ingredients. I make it. I deliver it.”
Todd’s figured out ways to marinate his recipes into steak and make spanish rice.
He continues, “We also made a jalapeno popper, pigskin cheese ball.”
Putting it on a chip is the easy part.
“No distilled vinegar in it. All natural ingredients,” says Jackson of El Rancho salsas.
If Mary is the dean of Okie salsas, and Todd is the up and coming idea man, Nicki Riney is the latest in a long line of determined chefs whose recipes are catching on.
She sells 9 different flavors of pretzels coming off the line at S and S Foods in Mustang.
The dill flavor is the most popular by far.
“I think it’s going to work,” she says confidently.
Good labeling, good recipes, and a lot of hard work go into whatever you’re setting on the TV tray for a Sunday Super Bowl spread.
If it has anything to do with Oklahoma it’s these types of good people who put it there.
Salt and spice, a perfect combination every time.
You can find Maria Rae’s salsas and chips in every major grocery chain in Oklahoma including Wal-Mart.
El Rancho salsas are on the shelves at Buy 4 Less, Homeland, and Natural Grocers.
Rhino Pretzels are available at Gourmet Gallery and many of the local brewery tap rooms springing up in the OKC Metro.
For more information on all three companies go to