SAN FRANCISCO -- You probably have eaten tortilla chips and salsas from Casa Sanchez Foods, but do you know their story? The family-owned business is three generations strong, and it's part of the reason why tortilla chips are a widely popular food in San Francisco and beyond.
In the 1960s, mass production and packaging of tortilla chips didn't exist in the Bay Area.
"There were tortillas and there were chips made out of potatoes from Frito Lay, but there were no tortilla chips," said Robert Sanchez, President of Casa Sanchez Foods. "If you wanted to get tortilla chips, you had to go to a restaurant to order guacamole and tortilla chips. Only way you could do it."
He added, "Casa Sanchez was able to put chips in a bag, add a little bit of salt, and put them in a store. You could take them and have them at home."
Robert Sanchez grew up documenting every detail of his family history since he was about 5 years old. He's seen Casa Sanchez evolve while staying true to the family's Hispanic roots.
In 1924, his grandparents Roberto and Isabel Sanchez immigrated to the U.S from Zacatecas, Mexico. They moved to San Francisco's Fillmore District and started selling Mexican food from their home kitchen.
Over the years, the family business was expanding with Robert's dad as the lead.
"My dad, it was his idea, because we had tortillas and we had to do something with them. So, might as well cut them up into chips," Robert said.
Almost a 100 years after Robert's grandparents sold the first tortilla from home, Casa Sanchez chips and salsas can now be found throughout the country.
"I think they would be proud of where they started. Where the path of Casa Sanchez is going today. They know there are many generations behind it and many more to come."