Red or green? New ABQ shop’s selection means you don’t need to choose - Albuquerque Journal

Red or green? New ABQ shop’s selection means you don’t need to choose

Owners Sara and J.J. Mancini and employee Gabriela Torres inspect jars of salsa for sale at Salsa Saint. The store opened at 400 Romero NW in late September and sells more than 120 varieties of New Mexican-made salsas. (Elizabeth Tucker/ Journal)

Red or green?

Hot or mild?

These are questions familiar to many New Mexicans, but luckily you don’t have to choose just one.

Salsa Saint, which opened at 400 Romero NW in Albuquerque’s Old Town in late September, has shelves stocked with more than 120 New Mexican-made salsas that make use of red chile, green chile, chile from Hatch and almost everything in between.

Co-owner J.J. Mancini said the only rules guiding the salsa selection is that it has to be good and it has to be made in New Mexico and sold only or mostly in the state – though he has made some exceptions for brands that can also be found in El Paso.

Mancini, who has lived in Old Town since 2013 with his wife Sara, said he purchased the building housing Salsa Saint this year and was initially unsure of what to do with the small retail spot, until he realized that there wasn’t one place to get every New Mexico-made salsa.

“Red chile and green chile (are) so critical to New Mexican culture and history, so we wanted to open up a store that featured and heralded New Mexican chile in all of its various forms,” he said.

Chile ristra string lights line the window of Salsa Saint in Old Town. (Elizabeth Tucker/Journal)

While Old Town is a popular draw for tourists, Mancini said his goal was to create a store that also appealed to locals and hopefully even offered some brands lifelong New Mexicans haven’t discovered.

Some of the salsas that can be found are an award-winning Hatch green chile salsa from Las Cruces-based The Bossy Gourmet, Granny Annie’s Chile which is made by a Rio Rancho company from a decades-old family recipe, and classic stand-bys like Pedro’s and Monroe’s.

Mancini said he is always on the hunt for more and rarer brands.

He said he hopes to eventually add some salsas made with heirloom chiles, also known as “landrace chiles,” from different regions of the state or from different pueblos.

He said his new store is part of a “revitalization” of Old Town following the beginning of the pandemic which shuttered some longstanding gift stores and galleries.

“There’s a lot of cool new shops that are opening that are targeting locals more so than tourists,” he said.

Old Town “is cool again for locals,” Mancini said.

Salsa Saint is open 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, visit salsasaint.com

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect year for when J.J. Mancini and his wife purchased the building that houses their business. The couple bought the building in 2021, not 2020. The story has been updated.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Red or green? New ABQ shop’s selection means you don’t need to choose


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Balloons greet visitors from near and far on fiesta's ...
ABQnews Seeker
Clouds couldn't damper balloon launch, excitement ... Clouds couldn't damper balloon launch, excitement
2
Court upholds dismissal of criminal charges under ethics law
ABQnews Seeker
AG calls on lawmakers to tighten ... AG calls on lawmakers to tighten state's anti-corruption statute
3
NM startup on cusp of DNA sequencing breakthrough
ABQnews Seeker
Technology to rapidly read long strands ... Technology to rapidly read long strands of DNA with molecular-level precision
4
Cannon airman found dead in home
ABQnews Seeker
Details surrounding the death are under ... Details surrounding the death are under investigation
5
Dean Hansel Burley receives vote of no confidence
ABQnews Seeker
Provost will consider faculty's position Provost will consider faculty's position
6
Montgomery speed cam MIA; balloonists block neighborhood
ABQnews Seeker
City temporarily removed Montgomery camera after ... City temporarily removed Montgomery camera after vandalism
7
College players sweep pro tennis tourney at UNM
ABQnews Seeker
One day after two UNM Lobos ... One day after two UNM Lobos won the doubles title of Albuquerque's ITF 15K pro tennis tournament, a Texas Tech player won the singles ...
8
American Airlines plane evacuated at Albuquerque Sunport
ABQnews Seeker
FBI officials in Albuquerque did not ... FBI officials in Albuquerque did not disclose nature of security threat
9
APD investigates 'suspicious death' on West Side
ABQnews Seeker
Person found dead outside Discount Tire Person found dead outside Discount Tire