Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

A Spicy Retirement Plan: Edmond Couple Score with Salsa Products

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

A Spicy Retirement Plan: Edmond Couple Score with Salsa Products

Article excerpt

For more than 20 years, Dee Sporn of Edmond made fresh salsa for friends and family.

She started making the salsa on summer trips to the lake with her family - her two children are now grown and Sporn is a grandmother - as a cool snack with fresh vegetables for hot days. The salsa was popular with family and friends.

"I used to serve it for entertaining and for a few people who asked for it," said Sporn, a native of Tahlequah.

In 2007, after a couple of decades of making the salsa, Sporn and her husband, Jerrie Sporn, started considering selling the salsa on a commercial basis. They realized they needed some help, and enrolled in Basic Training for Food Business Entrepreneurs, a class offered at the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

They started selling the salsa in 2008 and now operate DreamCatcher Farm Gourmet Salsa, selling the salsa in both a fresh version that requires refrigeration and a shelf-stable version from the recipe developed over the years by Dee Sporn. The fresh salsa is sold at area farmers' markets and festivals across the state. The shelf-stable salsa is sold at gourmet stores in Edmond and Oklahoma City.

"I gradually developed the recipe over the years," she said. "Anyone can put the vegetables together, but my secret is my spice blend."

They returned to the Edmond Farmers Market this past weekend when it began a new season. They have also sold the salsa at other farmers' markets with sessions during the week.

Dee and Jerrie spend a lot of weekends traveling to festivals.

"Our season started Saturday at the farmers' market and we will be going strong until November," she said.

Most of the festivals and shows they attend are in Oklahoma, including the Downtown Edmond Arts Festival, the Paseo Arts Festival in Oklahoma City, the Junior League of Tulsa Holiday Market and the Oklahoma Czech Festival in Yukon. They will also go to a couple of festivals in Arkansas.

After taking a food business entrepreneurs class, the Sporns got some additional help from the Food and Agricultural Products Center. …

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