Today, we are sharing the inspiring story of Leigh Oliver, founder of Queso Mama, and how she turned her passion for cooking into a successful queso cheese product line. As a Texan, Leigh developed a deep love for queso cheese. So much so that she created unique queso recipes by experimenting with different ingredients and flavors. After years of perfecting her recipes, Leigh decided to turn her passion for queso into a business. And why not? It was a natural fit. Even as a child, she loved cooking and made menus for her family to order from while sitting at the table.
In 2009, she founded Leigh Olivers, later branded Queso Mama, and Whole Foods was the first grocer to give her shelf space. Leigh’s big break came a few years later. In 2012, the Dallas Cowboys’ foodservice division requested her queso to be sold at their new stadium.
Leigh’s secret to success is her commitment. She was committed to preparing clean, fun food because her son had allergies. Meanwhile, Leigh loved to create enjoyable dishes that placed smiles on every face around the table. One evening, her son opened the refrigerator and said, “What’s for dinner Queso Mama.” And voila – in 2017, Queso Mama was rebranded! She continued using only the best ingredients and creating unique flavor combinations that set her queso apart from the rest. Her dips are made with real cheese, fresh vegetables and spices, and free of artificial flavors and preservatives.
But Leigh’s journey to success was challenging. She overcame many obstacles, including finding a manufacturer to make her products at scale and navigating the complex world of food distribution. Despite the challenges, Leigh persevered, making Queso Mama a thriving business with a dedicated following of queso cheese fans. This line of high-quality, all-natural queso dips is now sold in stores nationwide.
Leigh’s story is a testament to the power of passion and hard work. She turned something she loved into a successful business, inspiring others along the way. Leigh shares tested and proven advice at any of her speaking engagements. She says, “Hospitality is everything. Go the extra mile and offer one-on-one unreasonable hospitality. And remember to be authentic.”