Salsa Lisa going national after selling majority stake

  • Updated: February 10, 2010 - 1:28 PM

Lisa’s Salsa Co., the St. paul producer of Salsa Lisa that is distributed mainly in Minnesota and Wisconsin, will see its product go national after it was sold Monday to a subsidiary of Calavo Growers, Inc., of California.

Calavo owns 65 percent of the new company, called Calavo Salsa Lisa with the option to buy the remainder over the next 81 months.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Lisa's Salsa founder Lisa Nicholson will remain with the company. Nicholson called the transaction a "game-changer" for both parties. Calavo, which bills itself as the first name in avocados, said the newly named Calavo Salsa Lisa brand will complement its existing guacamole and tortilla chip products.

Calavo Chief Executive Lee Cole said Salsa Lisa "has tremendous potential for future growth on a national scale." The company said it will expand the St. Paul salsa plant from 8,000 square feet to 10,500 square feet to accommodate the national rollout.

Nicholson, who's been in the salsa business for 15 years, started out using produce from her own garden to make the product, which she first sold at farmers' markets.

DAVID PHELPS

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