About – History
The family tradition of El Matador products dates back to 1932 when Jesús Rico, my grandfather, opened his butcher shop in Álvaro Obregón, Michoacán. Shortly after having established business, he left my father in charge of what years later would become our livelihood and the best school for my 9 siblings and I. El Matador butcher shop became a thriving business thanks to my father’s perseverance, a daily effort and long hours of work. As it was the tradition butchers sold homemade sausage. My father prepared it with the highest quality meat and spices, ingredients that gained him countless satisfied customers in his home and surrounding towns.
The desire to have an education and to work hard to achieve my goals was the best lesson I learned as I was growing up. I pursued my College education and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. I met Everardo, my husband who was then studying biology. After graduation we got married and decided to continue our graduate studies in the United States. We left our families and began a new journey as immigrants in Chicago.
El Matador Products in Chicago
Chicago was our new home. We came to this country with the desire to continue our post-graduate studies and to be successful. Nobody said it would be easy, and it definitely wasn’t. Going to school and working at the same time; learning English and getting acquainted with a new country and culture was stressful and overwhelming. We no longer had the comfort we had back home. We no longer had a family business to fall back on in case we didn’t like our jobs; however, Everardo and I came from entrepreneurial families. We had to make things happen one way or another.
We decided to continue the family enterprise; the manufacturing of homemade Mexican chorizo. While doing our market research, we learned that most supermarkets hired people to make chorizo. This process included the preparation of the seasoning and the meticulous stuffing. The challenge that supermarkets faced was not only product quality inconsistency because each butcher had its own flavor; but also costs associated with the manufacture of the product. It was thus that we saw an excellent opportunity; to offer our new customers a product of quality and consistency: A chorizo adobo with no artificial colors or flavors, created with the family secret formula.
Some time passed by, my husband working full time and helping me on the refinement of our product, and I visiting supermarket after supermarket offering my product. I remember having many good and many bad days. My days and weeks were so unpredictable; however, hard work and persistence paid off. One day, our family business exceeded the salary of Everardo and a new chapter in the story of El Matador Products began.
My husband came on board on a full time basis. His vision was greater than mine at that moment. He wanted to industrialize the product, and that was the catalyst to give El Matador products a 180 degree turn. While I was in charge of perfecting the seasonings, he became the teacher and creative mind, and between the two, we became the team which began with the development and distribution of a quality product on a larger scale. Thus began agreements with supermarket chains like Tony’s Finer Foods.
Our clients have been our best teachers. Over the years their emerging needs turned into opportunities for us. In this way, we added stuffing sleeves and fajita seasoning. Our product line became more widespread and popular.
Over ten years after our arrival to the United States, El Matador has a complete line of products: seasonings for all kinds of meats, seasoning exclusive for chorizo, stuffing sleeves, sancocho, pork lard, herbs and spices and homemade Mexican chorizo. Our products are distributed from coast to coast in the United States and Guadalajara, Mexico.
On the other hand we are grateful to have a prosperous company that allows us to give job opportunities to several families.
THE HIGHEST QUALITY PRODUCTS
The elaboration of each of our products is governed by the highest quality standards. Each and every ingredient we use is carefully inspected to ensure the satisfaction of our customers.
Our commitment is to serve our clients with the same dedication and passion with which my grandfather and my father founded the family business more than 70 years ago.