We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Covarrubias and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maria, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have always been a girl with big dreams and strong determination. Having my own company had been something that was in my cards for the future​, but ever did I think it would be 2020. When the pandemic struck, my family and I were in spot that, perhaps a lot of you were in too. When you find yourself needing to support your family​, creativity came to me and IT WAS TIME. The pandemic pushed me to fuel this project that I had in the back burner for a long time. Cien Chiles was born with the purpose to bring delight to your everyday meals, to fill your life with flavor and joy! The profound thought of being able to share my passion for food with the rest of the world was what pushed me to pursue my dream. A dream to fill everyones life with flavor. To experience joy in every bite. A dream to bring people together over food, creating memories over the table. We all eat to nurture our bodies and why not complement that with amazing and unique flavors.  

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My love for food has always been a strong part of me. Growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico, I would be that kid​who was always exploring the pantry and biting into whole tomatoes. It is, was and will be a big part of my family, my grandmother was an amazing cook, she always kept kitchen secrets. Both, my mother and grandmother ​ were so devoted to their families and were found in the kitchen​every afternoon putting together beautiful meals. That​amazing culture and traditions are so engraved in my heart that I have always felt the need to share it with the world! Cien Chiles is an expression of my​culinary journey. After graduating from clinical nutrition, I decided to make my dream come true, becoming a “Chef” at the Culinary Institute of America! Working in the industry for almost 10 years has given me so much perspective on how to share my talents, and one of them is Salsas!​When it is done right it changes your food game. Brining Cien Chiles to life has been an exciting roller coaster that has just started! The word of mouth has been our best ally in this short period of time. Strangers that become friends, friends that became family, all because of a bottle of flavorful and authentic “fixins”. Clean ingredients in a reusable bottle. They go well with every type of food; they bring bright and bold flavors to any dish! The biggest lesson​I have learned up to this point is that no matter where you stand, if you have the drive and determination to achieve your dream​s, GO AND GET THEM. We are the only ones who can make things happen for ourselves. And it all stars with having the right mindset, constantly evolving, pivot when you need to and learn from your mistakes. Pay attention around you because there might be a few people that believe in you and that are willing to help! Take your chances. You never know if you never try. So here I am trying and striving every day to make a difference in somebody’s ​life by making unique hot sauces with passion and heart.

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?
If we are taking a food tour in SoCal my road trip would start here in San Diego, coffee to get us going from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters or Dark Horse, bread and pastries from Wayfarer bread, in bird rock. I like to enjoy both of those by the water at Wind and Sea beach, sitting on the rocks and enjoying the view. For lunch I would grab a fish taco and ceviche from Oscars Mexican Seafood and for dinner, get the best burger in town at Roky’s Crown Pub with an order of fries and a Pacifico. Driving north, I would recommend having breakfast or brunch at Porto’s Bakery and Cafe (Cuban food and pastries), everything is amazing, but those cheese rolls are to die for! Since you are up there by the theme park you might as well stop by Mil Jugos in Santa Ana! They prepare authentic Venezuelan food to perfection. I always get the Carne Mechada Cachapa and don’t forget to ask for their house sauces, I would buy a gallon if I could!  

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Working with Mindsy Studio since the very beginning of the process, the brand discovery, logo creations, brand identity, Asha and her team captured my story and personality on every single bottle. We are so detail oriented that we were able to transmit that essence into Cien Chiles. Timeless and innovative expression of creativity, we wouldn’t have thought of it any other way. The universe always puts the right people to encourage and elevate you in the right direction. So we are grateful and honored to be able to work with Asha and her team!

Website: cienchiles.com
Instagram: @cienchiles
Linkedin: Cien Chiles LLC
Facebook: @cienchiles
Youtube: Cien Chiles

Image Credits
Photographed by Lucianna McIntosh

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.