Humble House Foods
H-E-B Partnering for Success
By Blithe Wiley
Photography by David Teran
Marsha Morales and her husband Chef Luis Morales, Co-founders of Humble House Foods, began selling their line of gourmet hot sauces in H-E-B stores in 2017. Prior to developing their line of all-natural hot sauces, Humble House sold its line of fresh pestos at the Pearl Farmers Market. Impressed with the quality of the company’s pestos, a representative from H-E-B approached the Morales about the possibility of entering the products in the “Quest for Texas Best” annual competition, H-E-B’s annual contest to select the best locally made Texas products.
“Our pestos contain no preservatives and, due to the ingredients, they aren’t really a large-scale, commercially viable product,” explained Morales. “So, we came up with the idea of creating a line of hot sauces that would be shelf-stable. We wanted to create all-natural, preservative-free sauces, with complex flavors that would appeal to the South Texas palate and would not be overly hot.”
The Morales entered their hot sauces in the H-E-B “Quest for Texas Best” competition in 2016 and were named a Top 25 finalist. The finalists all made presentations in Houston to H-E-B management in what Marsha described as a “Shark Tank-type” experience, and the Humble House hot sauces won third prize. Today their products are sold in approximately 200 H-E-Bs across the state. The company sells five different sauces: Ancho & Morita; Puya & Pasilla; Poblano & Serrano; Guijillo & Red Jalepeno; and Habanero & Aji Amarillo.
Humble House’s company tagline is “Honest Food. Honest People.” and Morales says this embodies the company’s philosophy of using the best quality ingredients with no preservatives and conducting their business operations with honesty and integrity.
“We feel so fortunate to be able to work with H-E-B and sell our products in their stores because H-E-B’s core values align so perfectly with ours,” she said. “To find a grocery store that shares our values is like finding a unicorn. H-E-B puts people first in its business relationships, and that is a guiding light in our company’s philosophy.”
Morales also admires H-E-B for encouraging past “Quest for Texas Best” finalists to mentor other local small businesses. She and Luis actively mentor local companies who compete in each year’s “Quest for Texas Best” as a way of giving back and supporting these entrepreneurs’ success.
“We tell them, if you are named a finalist in the ‘Quest for Texas Best,’ you are already a winner, and you will get the opportunity to get on H-E-B’s shelves.”