Amber Smucker has always had a passion for preparing and canning delicious food. As a child Amber's mother and grandmother taught her how to preserve tomatoes and other fresh veggies. It was her husband, who enjoys salsa daily and considers it to be the 6th food group, that brought salsa into Amber's life. After sampling almost every brand of salsa out there, he was convinced that Amber's recipe was the best.
The difference could be that she only uses fresh ingredients and natural flavors in every batch of salsa. Or maybe it's the time-consuming production methods that go into each batch of Mother Smucker's salsa. Amber believes that this extra effort sets her salsa apart from other brands. Her friends and family agree. They loved Amber's salsa from the start and shared it with their friends. Soon everyone was asking for more. Friends told Amber, "You need to sell this stuff!" So after ten years of growing demand, Amber's produced her first case of salsa, which was quickly snapped up by a friend. Pleased with process and her first happy customer, Amber was inspired to start her own salsa business.
Taking the plunge
Amber quickly discovered all the obstacles, laws and regulations that she'd have to work through. But with dogged determination and the support of friends and family, Amber launched into a year-long quest to acquire facility approvals, canning license, FDA approved recipes, kitchen inspections, etc.
As with other successful SCORE clients, quitting was never an option, because she believed in her mission and the quality of her product. Part of her mission is supporting local farmers. Amber knows the laborious demands of vegetable farming and is proud to purchase fresh vegetables locally.
Mother Smuckers first product, "Classic Medium" salsa was launched to the public in October 2015 after approval from the FDA. Two years later, Mother Smucker salsas are sold in 28 retail locations in PA, MD and DE. They also have an online store at www.mothersmuckersalsa.com and sell on Etsy.com.
A Journey of Discovery
Amber's journey into salsa and marinara production taught her about more than commercial cooking, she found out that she had the talent and determination to become a successful entrepreneur. She is thankful for family and friends who cheered her on, helped in the kitchen and energized her for the the journey ahead. And she is thankful for the lessons that her two sons picked up along the way. They learned that accomplishing their dreams will take hard work, persistence and dedication.
Amber also appreciates the support she has received from her SCORE business mentors. "I have met so many amazing people, worked with a fantastic SCORE counselor, forged new friendships, been to places I never thought I would go. I still can't believe how many prominent retailers now display my products on their shelves. Our consistent growth has brought us to the point of expanding into a larger kitchen. We are currently looking at various options and excited for what the near future has in store for us. I am proud to say that I love my job and I'm thankful for all those who have supported me every step of the way!"