SalsaguysalsaBy Eric Heubusch

Javier Nava’s salsa began as a treat for coworkers, but he soon realized its greater potential. After selling Javi’s Salsa in front of produce stands in the area, the Brandon resident has landed his product on the shelves of four Whole Foods locations, and looks to add Winn-Dixie to the list.

Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Nava moved to the United States as a young boy. With not much to do in his new home, Nava found himself drawn to his mother’s kitchen by the aroma of authentic Mexican cuisine. He studied her, paying special attention to the ingredients used in its preparation.

Years later, Nava found himself serving in the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. While on assignment in 2009, Nava brought his coworkers his salsa that he learned to make from his mother. It was a hit with the deputies, who begged Nava to bring some everyday, and he obliged. Many suggested for him to produce it commercially, and Nava investigated the process.

Through connections in the police force, Nava found commercial kitchens that offered private label work, where someone like himself could produce their own culinary product. After six months of development, Nava had the four flavors that Javi’s Salsa comes in today.

Javi’s Salsa is sold at Wolfe’s Produce Stand in Riverview at S.R. 301 and Bloomingdale Ave., the Riverview Fresh Market, and Brandon Meat and Market. Nava also sells his salsa at both Whole Foods locations in Tampa, as well as the locations in Clearwater and Carrollwood.

Winn-Dixie has offered Nava a chance to put Javi’s Salsa on shelves in stores across Florida. Nava will present his product to representatives from Winn-Dixie, and if chosen, Javi’s Salsa will be placed in stores next year.

Nava explained that with God’s help, his salsa can make it to shelves nationwide in two years.

“My favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 which is on our label,” Nava said. “It says ‘I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you hope and a future.’ We are a Christian, family-owned business, and are not ashamed of it.”

For more information, email and like Javi’s Authentic Mexican Salsa on Facebook.

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