About us

the Candelaria family

In 1987 Robert Candelaria, with the help of his family, developed a blend of spices to create an all-natural, authentic salsa, with no added sugar or preservatives. Their son Daniel,  was diagnosed with Diabetes at the age of 5.  He really enjoyed eating these salsas because they were delicious, easy to prepare, and most important, they are healthy.

As a family, they took this traditional flavor to the next level. Years of experience gave Robert the knowledge to select the finest of southwest chiles and other spices.  For over 30 years, he grew this business until he decided to retire in 2017.

Chef Heath and Naomi

Heath Rowe, godson of Robert, grew up a close family friend of the Candelarias. As an adult, Heath pursued a career as a chef in upscale restaurants in Colorado, Arizona and Texas. Building his repertoire along the way, he gained the utmost respect for those who would never compromise flavor in order to expand their profits.

After several years, Chef Heath returned to Durango with his daughter, Naomi. He continues to own and operate a small catering and personal chef business. Although he learned to prepare dynamic cuisines from around the world, the local flavors he grew up with always held a special place in his heart. Heath believes not only are the Red and Green Chiles found near his birthplace unique, but they are are some of the best flavors you can find anywhere.

In 2017, Heath and the Rowe family bought Candelaria’s from Robert. His first goal was to never change the traditions passed on to him. Eventually he plans on growing the business, but he refuses to compromise on anything that will diminish the flavor of this delicious salsa. So if the business must stay small in order to preserve the integrity, so be it…

The process to develop these spice blends is a simple one. We create our salsa in a kitchen, not in a lab. We only buy the best chiles available; they are dried, crushed, and ground under strict supervision. Each batch made is sampled and scrutinized to ensure the fresh and authentic taste is in every product we sell.

Prepared and shipped from Durango, Colorado, we enjoy being a long-term local small business. Nearly every employee in the history of Candelaria’s was a family member, and we kinda like it that way.

Our commitment to bring you the very best salsa can be experienced every time you taste one of our products. We refuse to ever use any preservative beside salt. Every chile and every spice we use is all-natural and sustainably farmed.

We work hard to find the best ingredients that help our local economy. We do small batches of everything we sell in order to ensure freshness, and we will never dishonor the traditions that have made Candelaria’s what it is today…