Salsa Spreads Across Stateline

STERLING (WIFR) -- One Freeport man may be taking his tasty talents to a store shelf near you.

Rick Andrews lives his nine to five life as an engineer, but on weekends, he concocts a variety of recipes in his search for the perfect salsa.

The Freeport man travels down to the Kitchen Incubator of Northwest Illinois in Sterling to cook his six nontraditional kinds of savory sauces.

It's something that was originally thought of as a retirement plan.

"Here will be something I can do when I retire from my day job and I really enjoy it and something to keep me busy because I just can't sit around," said Andrews. "But because of the feedback I'm getting, I'm starting to think well maybe it can be bigger than that."

Since creating the original recipe 10 years ago, Rico's Gourmet Salsa has grown in popularity.

In just the last year, his products have moved onto shelves in six businesses in Freeport, Rockford and Wisconsin, which makes him grateful for the local support.

"People are starting to realize that we have to watch out for ourselves and support each other so there's really a bigger focus on local products around the Midwest and I love it," said the owner.

And the expansion is not close to completion.

It turns out Big Red, Mojo, and Raspberry Blush aren't just appealing to taste buds in the Stateline.

Andrews says he has seen interest as far as North Carolina and as he branches out to Milwaukee, he can see his business going further than he ever could have imagined.

"We're looking at growing it by metropolitan areas one step at a time and so the idea of what it could be has really grown beyond what I ever thought it would be," he said. "As recently as a year ago, I didn't see that."

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