The Brooklyn Salsa Company operates out of an apartment in the Opera House Lofts, a converted 19th-century Bushwick manse that’s now happily home to a community of hip, condiment-hungry 20-somethings like roommates Rob Bowman and Matt Burns. The latter, who moved in with Bowman last year, abhorred the watery, processed salsas of the Tostitos ilk and barred their presence from social gatherings. His former stint dicing tomatoes at a Mexican restaurant served him well: Before long his freshly chopped alternatives were a hit, and he joined marketing-minded pal Bowman to launch the company, also known as BK Salsa, 10 months ago.
With the help of a third partner, Jake O’Connor, Bowman and Burns have perfected their multicolored quintet of super-smooth (thank you, stick blender) tomato-based salsas, each named after a borough and supplied in a biodegradable tub—or if you’re buying direct from the boys in bulk, maybe a bucket. They move beyond the vine, incorporating worldly ingredients like curry, eggplant and coconut milk that let you and your corn chips enjoy everything from the tropically sweet (the Queens) to the addictively hot (the Brooklyn).
While the condiment crew hopes to secure investment capital to expand production and buy directly from area farmers—now they buy mostly organic from places like the Park Slope Food Co-op—a shorter-term goal is funds for retail distribution. This summer look for the boys on the streets, in the parks and riding the subways as part of their Feed the People campaign; and for now, salsa ($6 for a 12-ounce tub) can be bought online (for larger orders, they might even deliver) or by lucky invite to one of the Opera House’s basement salsa fêtes. The next one, rumor has it, is April 25.