The Queso Mama Story
FUN FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND FOODIES!
Leigh Oliver Smith Vickery, founder of Queso Mama, sought to fill a niche on store shelves. Her refrigerated queso dip is a “fun food” with a clean label and a flavor profile that was new to the market. Having confidence in her concept, Leigh took her queso dip to the Whole Foods Market headquarters. In 2009, Whole Foods was the first to recognize the potential of Leigh’s refrigerated queso dip and gave her a shot. Queso Mama was originally branded as “Leigh Olivers” and her first big break came in 2012 in the form a Dallas Cowboys foodservice request for its new stadium.
“Somebody high up in the organization had it at a party and said, ‘I want this in the new stadium.’ I was driving carpool for my middle-school son when I got the phone call from them,” Vickery says. “To be honest, I thought it was a friend pranking me, and I didn’t believe they were really the Dallas Cowboys at first. Then I realized this was a real call. He explained how he found out about it and asked if we make it in foodservice. To be clear, I had no idea how to pack our product in the large sizes they needed, but I faked my way through the call, immediately called my friends at Chairmans and said, ‘Please tell me you can do this.’ And of course, they could and have for a decade or more.”
The brand was growing and needed a different look and name. One night at the dinner table Leigh’s son exclaimed, “Queso Mama” and from then on it had its new identity. Leigh was able to secure help from a top design firm to transform “Leigh Olivers” into Queso Mama. The new look captured the colorful essence that makes queso a “fun food”. It wasn’t long before the product was picked up by Costco and Target.
Vickery states that “queso is becoming more and more of a staple than an indulgence. Our customers tell us they keep Queso Mama in the refrigerator all the time. Because of its clean label and high- quality ingredients, people feel good about offering it as an afternoon snack — and often I hear parents say ‘it’s what gets my kids to eat their broccoli.”
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