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.
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?
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
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
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.
did. We entered three salsas in the largest and most competitive
competition in America—the Scovie Awards held in Albuquerque, New
· 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.
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
What’s next?? We are going to seek retail distribution of our product as well as capital to expand our production capabilities.
certain our journey will take more twists and turns. Stay tuned for
the next chapter. I know it will be nothing short of interesting!