Crazy Joe's Salsa

Success with The Center

CRAZY JOE’S SALSA: Keeping Up With Growth To Maintain Success

The Center – Northern Initiatives provided coaching on all aspects of running a business, from marketing to human resources. They are very responsive to questions and if they do not have the answer, they find the right person to help. The Center – Northern Initiatives is committed to the success of Crazy Joe’s Salsa.
-- Keith Herrala, Owner

Crazy Joe’s Salsa is a fresh salsa and dip company located on the shores of Lake Superior in Baraga, Mich. Crazy Joe’s believes in providing high quality, healthy products made from fresh produce with no artificial ingredients or GMOs. Owner Keith Herrala started the business in 2015 making pico de gallo in a local church basement, the only USDA-certified kitchen in the rural area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and has since grown to produce five dips and salsas. Crazy Joe’s employs two full-time employees and six part-time employees.


Crazy Joe’s exceeded their sales projections in the first quarter of the year. Additionally, Crazy Joe’s grew from supplying 75 grocery stores and chains throughout Michigan, Wisconsin and northern Illinois to nearly 100 in less than a year. As a result of this rapid growth, it was imperative that the company improve production efficiencies to keep up with demand while better equipping themselves for future success as both as an employer in a rural area and a vital business within the community.

Due to the size of the kitchen and production constraints, Crazy Joe’s needed better equipment and a larger commercial kitchen to grow their product line and expand into new markets. Their goal is to be the Midwest leader in fresh salsa within two to five years and to increase sales by $500,000.


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The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center – Northern Initiatives (The Center – Northern Initiatives) provided Crazy Joe’s with expert consulting on financing and operational efficiencies as well as coaching on all aspects of running a business. The Center trained the Crazy Joe’s team on more efficient ways to produce products, providing training on economies of scale and automating several processing steps. These changes led to improved efficiency and contributed directly to the bottom line, while increasing production.


  • Improved Productivity: Prior to training, production rate was 54 units per hour. After training, production rate is 108 per hour – a 50% increase in production.
  • Increased Jobs: Added 6 part-time employees.
  • New Investment: $100,000 invested in purchasing new equipment including a Label Machine Hopper and Filler/Sealer Machine.
  • New Markets: Invested $10,000 to approach new markets in Wisconsin, Northern Illinois and the Greater Chicago area.
  • New Products: Developed a new salsa and expanded to offer new dips including a southwest salsa, a cranberry walnut dip and a mushroom, onion, and jalapeno dip.