I have a really great relationship with my sister inlaw, Dara. (You might remember her from my blog post “OCD or Awesome Life Hack?” dated 9/28/17.) She’s been incredibly supportive of me and my blog. It was Dara who suggested that I get to know a coworker of hers, Trey Johnston. She mentioned that he made and sold his own brand of salsa and chips. So, just in time for your 2018 Super Bowl Party, get ready to add Texas Trey’s Barnburner salsa, chips and avocado dips to your party buffet.
Trey has been producing for his fresh gourmet products company, Texas Trey’s since 2012, but prior, describes his life as that of an adventurous new family experiencing life in Virginia. Originally from Longview, Texas, Trey would tend a vegetable garden and continued that work even after relocating to Virginia. From the fresh produce of his garden, Trey would concoct a salsa for his family and friends. These recipients of his salsa goodness were the very ones who suggested that Trey should market and sell his salsa.
His Barnburner Salsa is made locally in Boyce, Virginia. Trey and his family pride themselves on using the finest produce sourced from local farmers, to create the best possible products and they are thrilled to officially be picked up as a vendor for Wegmans in Leesburg, VA. (Look for the products in March 2018.) And let’s talk about their Chips! Says Johnston, “Our chips are the driving force in our business and lead on all sales fronts. Our chips are not like any you find on the grocery store shelves. We have two types of chips, Salsa Shovels and Dip Diggers. Salsa Shovels are a hardy crunchy tortilla chip, deep fried in pure peanut oil. Our Dip Diggers are an all natural light and crispy tortilla chip with a great corn flavor and buttery finish.” (Ok, you sealed my love at “buttery finish”.)
As a young man, Trey led a rather unconventional life. Says Johnston, “I’m naturally inspired to accomplish big things. When I was younger I pursued a boxing career to become the greatest heavyweight ever. I sold most everything at the age of 22 and moved to Las Vegas to become a fighter. I never went anywhere with it, but trained with referee Joe Cortez, Joe George, Doc Broadus, and watched Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather train on a weekly basis.” In 2008, Trey shifted gears, packed his bags and began volunteering in an orphanage in the jungles of Rio Dulce, Guatemala. He also became a Search and Rescue scuba diver in Honduras on the Island of Útila.
Says Trey, “I think I have my grandfather’s (mother’s side) mind and passion for success. He invented glass break detectors in the 80’s and built Caddx Controls Inc until GE bought it. My great-grandfather on my dad’s side invented the Johnston Drilling Tool which was bought by Schlumberger in 1956. You could say inventiveness and ingenuity are in my blood.” His current passion is providing great food for people, something different and unique.
Ultimately, Johnston would like to grow his business into a national brand and have someone, or a group of investors, offer to buy them out. That plan would contribute to his achievement of his long-term goal which he describes is to, “Retire happy, raise my kids right, and make sure I cherish all the moments with those I love.” Until then, he is quite proud that he is able to make a great living working in Information Technology with an excellent company despite not having a degree, but is even more proud of how he and his wife have been raising their children. Says Trey, “I try to make sure they learn accountability, responsibility, and have good character. Most importantly they understand I love them with all my heart.”
Although I think we can all agree that Trey is a dreamer in the best possible ways, he is very pragmatic. He says, “[I] anticipate a hard road ahead, ups and downs, but perseverance, some luck and some blessings will get me where I want to go.” His parting words, “Real people who work hard, are passionate, and have a good attitude, some luck and support, can succeed as long as they never give up.”
You can purchase Texas Trey’s products at: Rich Rosendale’s Roots 657 Cafe and Local Market and every Saturday at One Loudoun’s open air Farmers Market in Ashburn, Va.