College Bound Salsa

Monday, January 28th 2008, 7:02 pm
By: News 9

By Audrey Esther and Darren Brown, INsite team

It's a fact--each year the average cost of a college tuition goes up and families often wonder how they'll cover the cost

Now imagine having five kids who are college-bound. The INsite team found one family who's paying for their children's tuition one jar of salsa at a time.

"What we did is, we gave them the opportunity to give them some direction in their life," Dustin Crenshaw said. "And the direction was to be college-bound."

College-bound isn't just a phrase, it's the name of the Crenshaw family's own brand of salsa. As the name suggests, it's the main ingredient in paying for thier children's college tuition.

"I kind of had an 'ah ha' moment in that I was online looking at the college savings accounts and estimating what it was going to cost to save to put five kids through college and it was close to 300 thousand dollars just for tuition," Crenshaw said.  

Each salsa sale helps chip away at that $300,000 total. All of the Crenshaw children are currently under the age of 10, so they've got a while before sending off those college applications.

"I don't know where I'm going to go but I've got some time to think about it," 8-year-old Cooper said.  

"I'm just glad we don' t have to pay for our college," 10-year-old Chase said.

It was Chase's entrepreneurial spirit that sparked the idea. About a year ago, Chase wanted some extra spending money for Christmas.

"I wanted to mow lawns in the middle of winter and you can't really do that," he said. "My dad thought 'We'll we could make this salsa again."  

"What we decided to do was allow them to sell some salsa to just our friends and family," Dustin Crenshaw said. "And it just took off."

A partneship with Oklahoma State University's Food and Agricultural Products Center allows the Crenshaws to produce the salsa in large quantites. The family's main marketing strategy is word of mouth.

"We just basically tried to make a salsa that we liked to eat. I've heard people say this is more of a restrauant salsa," he said. "This is a salsa you can't get anywhere."

Until reccently, the majority of sales have gone to cover the initial start-up costs. The Crenshaw's say they hope to eventually be able to help other children save for college by selling college-bound salsa too.