When it comes to your typical 20 year-old, most are interested in college parties, drinking, sports, dating… more drinking. But Luis and Marsha Morales weren’t exactly typical 20 year-olds. Sure, they had the dating part down—they had been steady since high school. But as for the other norms, they took a pass. To their parents’ horror, they bypassed higher education, took their meager college savings fund and used it to rent a 100-square-foot spare room in a coffee facility. This was the start a business called Humble House.
In May 2009, the duo released their first line of products at the Pearl Farmers Market in San Antonio, Texas, a selection of cheeses to be exact. For three years, they were up to their elbows in curds and whey. But a sudden shift in cheese-making laws (yes, these exist) barred them from production just as they were gaining a following of local cheeseheads. Luis quickly came up with a line of pestos, hummus, and spreads, and they launched cooking demos to stay afloat. By 2015, classes had taken over so much of the business that Luis and Marsha decided to take some of their more eager students and put them to work… in a Humble House farm-to-table cafe. They also ran farm field trips to teach people where their food came from. A non-profit arm branched out to aid local farmers, and San Antonio locals were soon put to work cleaning out chicken coops, weeding, planting fields, painting fences… you name it, they were there.
In the midst of this chaos, Luis found the time to go to school at New York’s Culinary Institute of the Arts. Returning home to Humble House, he was fueled by a newfound love of traditional Latin cuisine and started tinkering around with hot sauce. Focusing on the flavor of the chiles, as opposed to the heat, he developed a line of balanced sauces that played with tart, sweet, savory, and of course, spicy flavors. He tested and tweaked the sauces at their original home, the Pearl Market, until they had a winning product.
How were the Moraleses able to find success in every product they introduced? They attribute it to their simple motto: honest food + honest people. They only use real ingredients—no artificial thickeners, flavorings, preservatives, just local natural food. They are also committed to being transparent in all their business practices and supporting fellow entrepreneurs. A simple but winning foundation.
And naturally, they aren’t done with new ventures. Their latest introduction: a newborn, expected in late May 2019. We’re sure they’ll pull out a win there, too.