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Before Plucked Salsa soared, it struggled

“Please don’t talk about how broke we were”

PORTLAND, Maine — Before sitting down with us to talk about how she founded and now runs a company called Plucked Salsa, Kelly Towle had to make a decision. How candid should she be?

The question came up because her business was in such trouble for so long that it frequently left her in tears, doing internet searches for information on how to shut it down and declare bankruptcy. It’s not easy to tell that story to a journalist without wanting to airbrush the darker chapters.

Her husband suggested she leave out some of the more embarrassing details. “He was, like, please don’t talk about how broke we were,” Towle says. She listened to him, but decided to be open about her struggles, in part because she understands that candor helps her promote her salsa. “Everybody knows we were broke. But that makes people feel bad—and they go buy my salsa!” With that she breaks into laughter.

It’s an unconventional marketing strategy, but a shrewd one. The saga of Kelly Towle and Plucked Salsa has a lot of peaks and valleys, and the best way to absorb it is by listening to her tell it in her words. So watch our story. It might make you feel bad—but not for long.

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