Monmouth woman's salsa gets picked up by Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee
A local woman's food business is going big. “Linda’s salsa” can be found in about 100 stores across the Midwest. She’s now been picked up by Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart.
When the sun rises, so does Linda Putnam. Her kitchen in Monmouth, IL is her playground and where the magic happens. Working with her hands is what she likes best.
“I don't go very far from this kitchen and if I do I am usually covered in flour, or green from tomatoes, or got salsa slopped down the front of me,” said Putnam.
“A salsa made in Monmouth, of course, we want to bring that in,” said Tim Mansfield, Moline Hy-Vee Store Director.
All the salsa's that sit at this Moline Avenue of the Cities Hy-Vee rack are made by Linda. It took years of growing the right tomatoes, taking classes, and getting everything registered by the FDA to get here.
“I’d always made salsa and I always gave it away to friends and everything and they always liked it,” said Putnam. “It just came up as an idea and I just did it,”
Her salsa's that come in mild, medium, hot, black bean and corn are in Wal-Mart as well. 100 stores across the Midwest in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri also carry her product.
“I get an excitement from seeing it with the big boys you know. Next to all the big brands and it's really cool,” said Putnam.
Linda says she always comes with a sample to every store she approaches that's what got her in to Hy-Vee.
“We love having more variety in our salsa section plus something that's locally made makes us proud,” said Mansfield.
Hy-Vee says supporting the local businesses is what they strive to do.
“When you speak of locally sourced products we are happy to do that, we think it's the right thing for our community and our business model that we take care of our local communities,” said Mansfield.
“I think it's great for when a company like that does support the local people,” said Putnam.
Since Linda was out of lids, she couldn't make her salsa for us, but maybe she'll share the recipe.
“I can't tell you the secret ingredient but I can tell you that I have found it doesn't matter the tomatoes I use. It is my spices,” said Putnam.
Putnam also makes jam and jelly, and tortilla chips. She says the salsa is where the money is at but she also sells her jams and jellies at flea markets. Linda says her next goal is get her products through distributing companies.