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Top 100 Family Business of the Year Renfro Foods Inc.

🕐 3 min read

Renfro Foods Inc.

815 Stella St.

Fort Worth 76104

817-336-3849

www.renfrofoods.com

No. 67

Iconic Fort Worth salsa maker Renfro Foods turns 75

It started modestly 75 years ago in George and Arthurine Renfro’s north Fort Worth garage as a packaged spices and pepper sauce business.

Now the award-winning Renfro Foods, a third-generation family owned specialty food manufacturer, has come a long way. Now the company’s line of products includes syrups, jellies, preserves, vinegars, chow chow and taco sauce. Renfro Foods has grown to become one of the largest salsa manufacturers in the United States and ranks No. 10 out of 500-plus salsa brands.

Better than that, they still do it together as a family. George and Arthurine’s family—sons Bill and Jack, CEO and COO respectively, who now consult, and grandchildren Doug, president, Becky and James, vice presidents, continue to run the company. The family team has grown the Mrs. Renfro’s brand to include more than 30 Mrs. Renfro’s salsas, peppers, relishes, and sauces, now available in all 50 states, as well as Canada, the Caribbean, England, Scotland, Spain, Germany, Australia, and South Korea.

Known for its innovative line of salsas, Renfro Foods’ forte has been the ability to create fusion salsa flavors at a value, everyday price. Over time, Renfro’s current 18-salsa product line that ranges from mild to scary hot, has evolved to include eclectic cutting edge items such as Pomegranate Chipotle, Mango Habanero, Tequila, and Ghost Pepper salsas.

The highly-automated company has operated out of its location on Fort Worth’s south side since 1951, adding to its manufacturing facilities over time. On a typical day, Renfro now produces more than 60,000 jars of product, about 135 bottles a minute.

As savvy market observers, the company introduces new items to the marketplace about every three years.

The “heat” factor continues to be – well – hot. With the runaway success of its hottest salsa, Ghost Pepper, Renfro expanded its nacho cheese sauce (2013) and barbecue sauce (2015) categories, adding chipotle and ghost pepper varieties to both. Its hottest salsas—Habanero, Green and Ghost Pepper—are the most popular. Mrs. Renfro’s Ghost Pepper salsa not only became the fastest-selling new product in the company’s history, but in only three years, it was #3 among its 33 products, which is unheard of for a new item, according to Doug Renfro.

“Our company has been very evolutionary,” says Doug Renfro. “People ask me all the time ‘are these your grandmother’s recipes?’ I smile and say, ‘no, but wouldn’t that be cool?’ No one was eating chipotle in 1951!”

Mrs. Renfro’s distinctive salsas have won numerous awards, including two fiery food industry Scovie Awards, “Best Of” and “Taste Test” awards in leading consumer and health magazines. The company has been recognized by Baylor University, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, Texas Historical Commission, and the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, among others.

Renfro Foods and its leadership team are active in numerous community, trade and philanthropic activities. Since 2007, it has annually sponsored a “pink lid” campaign during National Breast Cancer Awareness month and has contributed more than $100,000 to cancer research.

The company contributes to a variety of area charities and nonprofits, including Tarrant Area Food Bank and Casa Manana. Bill and Doug Renfro are both past chairs of the Tarrant Area Food Bank. – Staff reports.

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