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
Albuquerque issues health alert for wildfire smoke
ABQnews Seeker
The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Program ... The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Program issued a health alert on Monday afternoon because of wildfire smoke. People with respiratory conditions in the Albuquerque ...
2
Governor appoints former U.S. Navy officer to state Cabinet ...
ABQnews Seeker
With wildfires continuing to rage across ... With wildfires continuing to rage across New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday appointed a former U.S. Navy officer to run the state ...
3
Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire now largest wildfire in state ...
ABQnews Seeker
The teams battling the Calf Canyon/Hermits ... The teams battling the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire said Monday morning that the blaze has grown to more than 298,000 acres, making it the ...
4
In US, states struggle to replace fossil fuel tax ...
ABQnews Seeker
Government budgets are booming in New ... Government budgets are booming in New Mexico: Teacher salaries are up, residents can go to an in-state college tuition-free, moms will get medical care ...
5
Additional floors will allow for UNMH's future expansion
ABQnews Seeker
New tower will house updated surgical ... New tower will house updated surgical rooms
6
Zanetti leaning on military lessons in governor's race
ABQnews Seeker
NM should pursue both high-, low-tech ... NM should pursue both high-, low-tech solutions to economic challenges, says GOP hopeful
7
As winds relent, fire grows by 9K acres
ABQnews Seeker
Officials: Chance for thunderstorms Monday Officials: Chance for thunderstorms Monday
8
Can ABQ crush speeders' cars? It did $1M in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Forfeiture Act determines legal framework for ... Forfeiture Act determines legal framework for impounding cars
9
Stage set for the return of Summerfest
ABQnews Seeker
Summerfest and Freedom 4th are back. ... Summerfest and Freedom 4th are back. ...