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Local Vendor Spotlight: Donna's Salsa

It’s no wonder Donna’s Salsa is a best seller in our Chill Department at Pilgrim’s Market.

These chunky salsas are loaded with fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices that blend into a symphony of robust, southwestern flavors in mild, medium, and hot varieties. For a tropical twist, there’s also the Mango Pineapple Salsa. It’s a perfect mix of sweet and savory and a definite crowd-pleaser. Owner of Donna’s Salsa, Donna Maddock was born and raised in Coeur d’Alene and for decades has been making salsa for family gatherings and parties. Everyone loved Donna’s salsa and told her repeatedly she should be selling it. At that time, Donna ran a successful housecleaning business and did not give it a second thought. Until a random moment at Yosemite National Park changed the course of Donna’s life.

Donna is an avid biker and owns a 2003 Heritage Soft Tail Classic Harley Davidson motorcycle that she loves dearly. As Donna explained, “My father helped me pick out this motorcycle and that memory alone makes the bike very special to me.” While on a ride with friends in Yosemite Park, Donna paused to get a last look at the breathtaking view when a large deer walked out in front of her on the bike. She remained still as the animal looked and then unexpectedly leaped directly at her. Donna remembers putting her arms up to protect her face as she and her Harley tumbled to the ground while the deer took off running. I asked Donna, “What was going through your mind in the midst of all of that?” She immediately replied, “All I could think of was, no! No, I was not going to leave my bike in California!” Despite the pain from the fall, Donna did ride her bike home after she stopped at the Yosemite Medical Clinic where X-rays confirmed there were no broken bones. Once in Idaho, she dropped off her motorcycle for repair and then took off to the Caribbean for three weeks to recover on a Catamaran boat she and her friends had rented. After her respite, Donna met with doctors who told her she would need several surgeries to repair various injuries from the accident. This determination meant that heavy lifting was out of the question while recovering and thus ended her housecleaning career. That was when Donna decided to start selling her salsa!

First, Donna went to work on creating her quality recipes. As she explained, “It was a lot of trial and error along with feedback from customers that helped me perfect my recipes and build my business.” Before long, she gained a loyal clientele and even began to supply salsa to some of our local businesses. A few years later, Donna brought her salsas to Pilgrim’s where they have been a huge hit with our customers. She recently added a new salsa called “Reaper Hot” - it’s made with Carolina Reaper peppers which are ranked as one of the hottest peppers in the world. It’s a great choice for salsa lovers who enjoy a serious picante kick. It is hands down, my new favorite Donna’s Salsa. Look for Reaper Hot Salsa on aisle nine at Pilgrim’s with the rest of her salsa.

What about Donna’s favorite? “I like the medium salsa and I love to get creative with it for a quick meal. I add salsa to chili or mix it with shredded beef, then spread it on a tortilla with cheese, and grill it. It’s easy and tastes delicious! The Mango Pineapple Salsa pairs beautifully with chicken and cheese on a burrito. Salsa should never go to waste!”

Whether it’s a healthy snack, a quick appetizer, or an effortless, gourmet dinner, Donna’s Salsa is a delightful addition to any meal. Thank you for shopping local!

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