Image description

WEDNESDAY JULY 15th, 2015 CIGAR CITY SMOKED SALSA in final presentation to Winn-DIxie for their Winn-Local program for local products.   We are super excited and privilaged to have made it this far amongst all the competition.   Please tell you local manager you want to see Cigar City Smoked Salsa in your store!!!   Thank you for all the support!!

Cigar City Smoked Salsa in the News

Posted: 01/08/2014

By: Jason Beisel

TAMPA, Fla. -

Some small businesses in Tampa are beginning to dream big after getting a boost from the popular grocery chain, Whole Foods.


"We had no idea there was as much demand out there as there actually was," Dave Ward said. He and his wife own Buddy Brew Coffee in Tampa.


Demand for their coffee has been brewing since 2010. That's when they served their first cup of joe at their Kennedy Boulevard location. "Were a grassroots, word of mouth kind of place," Ward said.


Word-of-mouth that caught the attention of a department manager at  Whole Foods. "He said, 'Listen, I get asked every single day why don't you have Buddy Brew. It's to the point where it's driving me insane. I'm going to get you into Whole Foods,'" Ward said.


And he did. In late December Buddy Brew started showing up on store shelves at Whole Foods in Tampa and Orlando. "They're already super popular products," Anna Payne of Whole Foods said.


But it's not only Buddy Brew that's found success, another local product, Cigar City Smoked Salsa, has also made its way onto shelves. "We were overwhelmed, but we were also hoping for something like that. That's the break that you need," Co-Owner of Cigar City Smoked Salsa Ty Rodriguez said.


That break has landed the salsa in both Tampa and Orlando stores as well, and so far, the demand for both products seems to be high. 


"I know that we're going through probably about somewhere around 100 cases at all the different locations," said Rodriguez.


 "It's gone wild. They're reordering like crazy," said Ward.


As sales continue to grow, so do locations. Whole Foods plans to expand Buddy Brew and Cigar City to 20 stores nationwide in the near future, introducing these local entrepreneurs to a whole new customer base.

Image description



On Thursday night the Roosevelt 2.0 hosted a magazine release party for the inaugural edition of The Local Dirt. The Local Dirt is published by Chefs Ferrell Alvarez and Ty Rodriguez (both from Cafe Dufrain) and farmer Cathy Hume. It focuses on providing a voice for Tampa’s local food movement. The release party included live music, free wine, food trucks and a tasting of Cigar City Smoked Salsa. Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t resist salsa when it is placed in front of me. But after wolfing down two Tofu Bunz from Stinky Bunz I wasn’t very hungry so I kept my distance from the salsa stand…for a while. An announcement about how good the salsa was from the band that was performing is what eventually brought me to the table. Cigar City Smoked Salsa, no affiliation to the beer brewery, comes in four flavors: hot, mild, medium, and habanero mango. I tasted all four and what stood out to me was the smoked flavor that each salsa had. The creator said the reason for that smoked taste is that prior to making the salsa, the tomatoes are placed in a smoker. For a nominal “donation” I was able to take some of the medium (which I felt had the best overall flavor) home with me. I decided to pair it with BBQ tofu, onions, cheese and tortillas for a smokey, yet sweet quesadilla experience.

BBQ Tofu Quesadilla with Cigar City Salsa - click here to link to recipe