Calavo Growers Inc., Santa Paula, has expanded its refrigerated fresh line by acquiring Lisa's Salsa Co., St. Paul, Minn.

The salsa, which will carry the Salsa Lisa  brand, joins Calavo’s guacamole and avocado dips in the refrigerated fresh category.

“Our customers had been asking for salsa, but finding the right company was easier said than done,” said Lee Cole, president and chief executive officer.

Parameters set by Calavo included natural ingredients, no preservatives and a long shelf life, he said.

“We found exactly what we’ve been looking for in Lisa’s Salsa,” Cole said. “We kind of feel as if we’ve discovered gold.”

Lisa Nicholson founded and built Lisa’s Salsa into a popular condiment in the Midwest.

“We are very excited about joining forces with Calavo, an industry leading company,” Nicholson said in a news release. “Working together, we are confident we can build on our well-established market position in the upper Midwest and take our delicious, hand-prepared refrigerated salsa to the next level.”

Calavo adds salsa to its refrigerated fresh category
Calavo adds salsa to its refrigerated fresh category

Calavo purchased the assets of Lisa’s Salsa Co. and a 65% interest in the Minnesota firm effective Feb. 9, Cole said. Calavo’s ownership position includes an option to acquire the remaining 35%.

Calavo began marketing the salsa simultaneous with the purchase, Cole said. Fine tuning and production of the Calavo Lisa’s Salsa packaging is under way and will begin appearing on retail shelves in April, he said.

Cole said he envisions the Calavo Lisa’s Salsa displayed in produce departments along with the company’s guacamole.