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Bueno Foods Celebrates 65 Years Of Authentic New Mexico Chiles

Joe Baca in front of the family’s Ace Food Store. Bueno Foods started out as a small neighborhood grocery store, but after big stores came in it was forced to innovate and Bueno Foods was born.
Joe Baca in front of the family’s Ace Food Store. Bueno Foods started out as a small neighborhood grocery store, but after big stores came in it was forced to innovate and Bueno Foods was born.

Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 09:31 am

Green chiles have become synonymous with the state of New Mexico. Bueno Foods is among those largely responsible for this association. It has established itself as a purveyor of family values and southwestern cuisine. This year, the business celebrates its 65th anniversary of delivering New Mexico green chiles across the U.S., while maintaining a strong commitment to its Albuquerque home.

Based in the Barelas neighborhood in the South Valley of Albuquerque, Bueno Foods was founded by the Baca brothers—Joe, Ray and August—in 1951. It was the result of attempts to save their family-owned grocery store when larger chains were pushing smaller local proprietors out of business. The company started with a mission to bring New Mexican culinary traditions to the world. Bueno Foods became the first company to flame roast New Mexico green chiles and freeze them, making a local, autumn tradition enjoyable year-round.

In 1946, the Baca brothers, members of a long-time New Mexican family, had just returned from serving in World War II when they scraped together enough money to start a grocery business.
In 1946, the Baca brothers, members of a long-time New Mexican family, had just returned from serving in World War II when they scraped together enough money to start a grocery business.

In order to succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavor 65 years ago, the Baca brothers had to start their business from the ground up. Because no company had previously flame roasted chiles on a commercial scale, there were no methods or tools available. The brothers manufactured their own equipment and invented the process for flame roasting green chiles to bring the taste of New Mexico to the masses.

This ingenious spirit continues today, as the second generation of the Baca family is at the reins of Bueno Foods. Jacqueline, Eugene, Catherine and Ana Baca continue to hold dear the mission, vision and spirit established by their fathers and uncles, including a commitment to the local community.

“My family feels honored to be headquartered in the same neighborhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where my father and uncles grew up,” said Jacqueline Baca, president of Bueno Foods. “My brother and I have run our company for more than 30 years now, carrying on our family’s legacy of entrepreneurship and preservation of our New Mexico culture. My siblings’ and my commitment has been to build a growing middle class by providing good-paying jobs to New Mexicans and offering training and opportunity for advancement.”

Bueno Foods' new and old packaging.
Bueno Foods’ new and old packaging.

perish-bueno-foods-old-packaging

While the product line started with flame-roasted green chiles, it has since expanded to tortillas, sauces, prepared products and more. The company’s newest label, Buenatural, includes organic, non-GMO, vegetarian and vegan-friendly offerings.

With a history firmly rooted in embracing tradition, Bueno Foods and its executives have been recognized for their community service, eco-consciousness, quality and innovation, as well as being known as a positive economic engine in the New Mexico economy via the export of its product catalog in the U.S.perish-bueno-organic-buenatural-tortillas

About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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