A Journey in Faith

Life was good living on Spring Bayou in Tarpon Springs, FL for Tod and Louise Eckhouse.  They were quasi-retired and enjoying a full life.  In his spare time, Tod developed a killer mango salsa that he made only on social occasions.  His salsa was so good his friends would beg him to make and kept suggesting he sell it.  However, Tod’s only interest at that time was wrapping up the real estate development he was working on.

Then, with the ferocity of a Florida hurricane the real estate market CRASHED!  The crash was financially devastating to Tod and Louise.  Instead of retirement, they were now faced with the daunting task of reinventing themselves at 62 years of age.  But what to do and how to do it? 

Armed with only a (killer!) mango salsa recipe they decided to embark on the only ‘logical’ course of action: Start a business they knew absolutely nothing about with almost no money.  Not exactly something the Wharton School of Business would enthusiastically endorse, right?  So without Wharton’s blessing but a whole lot of gumption they plunged forward, first  asking for God’s guidance and blessing on the business. 

Soon, a series of “coincidences” began to occur.  A free place to make the salsa, then a better free place to make the salsa, then a friend showed up to help make the salsa for free, then another friend showed up to supply money to pay the bills.  Then—BREAST CANCER.  Louise had to have a double mastectomy and chemo.  The disease was also free but the treatment wasn’t.

We both promised to trust God no matter what.  Well, we are now in one of those “no matter what” stages I guess.  We never promised to like it, we just promised to trust Him.  I asked God to please make the next challenge more user-friendly.

He did. We entered three salsas in the largest and most competitive competition in America—the Scovie Awards held  in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  


·       Our Florida Mango Salsa took 1st Place in the Fresh Salsa Fruit category

·       Our Tomato Chipotle Salsa took 2nd Place in the Fresh Salsa Medium Heat category

·       Our Kiwi Fruit Salsa took 2nd Place for Most Unique salsa.

I never dreamed we would take first place with the first attempt.  It’s a huge honor to be recognized by such an esteemed group of chefs and restaurateurs. 

What’s next??  We are going to seek retail distribution of our product as well as capital to expand our production capabilities.

I’m certain our journey will take more twists and turns.  Stay tuned for the next chapter.  I know it will be nothing short of interesting!

Click on the link above to see our newest video on FOX 13.