Meet Robin Hildebrand
Robin Hildebrand grew up in Fayette County, West Virginia -- the twelfth of fourteen children. The tight knit collection of seven boys and seven girls grew up with an appreciation for family and the beauty of their home in the New River Gorge valley.
Naturally, with a family of that size, gardening and canning were a way of life and a necessity. The home grown foods from the family garden instilled an appreciation for the unmatched flavors of fresh and simple ingredients and eventually served as inspiration for the brand she created.
Robin fondly remembers days being chased by her "ornery" older brothers, waving the spicy hot peppers from the garden. Never being the shy, timid type, Robin turned to her father for help, asking him to help her find the hottest pepper in the garden -- one as "hot as a blue flame".
Years later, her heritage of garden fresh foods combined with this childhood memory served as the inspiration for Robin's fledgling salsa brand, which she fittingly named Blue Smoke Salsa.
As her business and entrepreneurial skills grew in tandem, Robin won multiple awards for herself and her business, including 2001 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and 2004 Small Business Person of the Year by the WV Small Business Development Center.
After selling the brand in 2012, Robin has now rejoined the Blue Smoke Salsa team as consultant and brand ambassador for New River Brands, bringing with her that same sense of quality, enthusiasm, and recipes that her customers came to expect.
Robin Hildebrand-Hannigan still calls Fayette County home, where she resides with her husband Bruce.