We had the good fortune of connecting with Celeste Raymond and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Celeste, what do you attribute your success to?
I believe it’s the quality of my product. I want the fresh flavor of my relish to enhance whatever it accompanies. I never want it to be so hot that you can not taste what you are eating. I also think part of my brands success is how much fun I have promoting my products and I wanted that fun to show when I am not there in person through my logo, which was drawn by my sister.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I never dreamed of being in the food industry and I really didn’t ever expect to be selling my jalapeno relish. It all started when my neighbor kept bringing over all is jalapeno peppers from his garden. That was almost 7 years ago. I still strive to make sure my products are of the highest quality, full of amazing flavors in hopes that they are enjoyed by all that give it a try. It’s been a lot of hard work getting my product out there, I started in the local San Diego farmer’s markets and then started getting into local retail locations. You can now find my relishes on Amazon. Being part of this industry, allowed me to give back by being a volunteer instructor at Kitchens for Good. To be part of teaching culinary skills, and see the joy in the students faces when they created their own pickles, is truly a special feeling.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Living in San Diego, there are so many wonderful things to see and amazing places to eat. Little Italy is a favorite of mine. The restaurants there are all amazing. Little Italy Mercato Farmer’s Market is a go to destination every Saturday. And you can’t come to San Diego with out going over to Coronado. I never get tired of wandering through the Hotel Del Coronado and then going down to the gorgeous beach.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would have never started this business if it wasn’t for the help of Chef Cruz Caudillo of Praline Patisserie, my first co-packer here in San Diego. It was learning curve for both of us maneuvering through all the canning restrictions. The hard work and getting canning licenses paid off!! I also learned so much from participating in San Diego Markets Vendor 101 class taught by Catt White and her staff. I still participate in their Little Italy Mercato market.