The concept for Pueblo Chili Co. was born in 2013 when the founder, Raquel Vigueras, was in graphic design school at VCAD in Vancouver.
It was in a second semester conceptualization class where Raquel was tasked with developing a solution to a design problem in an industry of her choosing. Raquel chose the hot sauce industry, and took a non-existent brand from concept to brand identity, to packaging design, to marketing. She was hooked from the start.
After completing her graphic design diploma, Raquel moved to Regina, Saskatchewan where she constantly thought about pursuing her dream of starting a hot sauce business. After a hot five years, she eventually took the leap.
In 2019, Raquel hosted a dinner party with her friends, and she had no idea what to serve alongside the appetizers. Desperately looking in her fridge for ideas, she came across all the ingredients to make a homemade hot sauce. It was a hit. Everyone loved this homemade hot sauce, and the next day she headed out to buy a Vitamix blender and give hot sauce making a real shot. She spent countless hours researching the proper food-safe techniques and developing recipes.
Raquel's father, Claudio Vigueras Zanetta, immigrated to Canada from Chile as a refugee in the mid-1970s because of a US-backed coup d’état that occurred on September 11, 1973. He was held in a concentration camp before being exiled to Argentina, and eventually immigrating to Canada as a political refugee.
There’s a song titled “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido” that was part of the Chilean New Song movement that’s near and dear to her heart. It was recorded in 1973 by Quilapayún and was the anthem of the popular unity government, and eventually became the anthem of the Chilean resistance to the Pinochet regime.
Music holds a huge importance in Chilean culture and politics, and to the whole Vigueras family. It was only fitting to name the business after something that brought people together to fight for the rights of the working class people of Chile.
Pueblo Chili Co. hot sauce is dedicated to all the Chileans across the world who suffered as a result of the coup in 1973, and especially to Raquel's hero: her father, who also used to smoke all of her peaches, jalapeños, and salts.
Raquel was born and raised in Swift Current, SK. Growing up, she had an avid interest in graphic design and web development from a very young age. She could be found in the computer room in her family home learning Photoshop and coding websites (anyone remember Geocities and Diaryland?) from about 5am to midnight every weekend.
After finishing high school, she spent 6 months living in Chile with her grandparents, listening to their wisdom and stories. Later, she went to the University of Saskatchewan where she achieved a BA in Political Studies. Soon after, she moved to Coquitlam, BC to pursue her passion in graphic design and attended the Vancouver College of Art & Design.
She soon moved to Regina, SK where she held various roles in UI/UX design and in marketing, before taking entrepreneurship and Pueblo Chili Co. full time.
In her downtime, you'll find her in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Whether it's for Pueblo or for her own enjoyment, she LOVES to cook. French, Mexican, Chilean, and Korean cuisines are her favourites.
Raquel still does design work for clients in a freelance capacity! Check out her portfolio at www.raquelvigueras.com
Tyler is Raquel's partner in crime. You'll find him alongside her at most markets, out and about doing hot sauce deliveries to businesses, shrink wrapping/labeling, taste testing, and just generally being there for moral support... he plays a vital role in the day-to-day of Pueblo! Electrician by day, hot sauce slinger by weekend/night.
In his downtime, you'll find him working out, playing Warzone, or pestering their adorable black cat, Gwen.
Raquel's mom has been a key player in the business from day one. With years of experience as a home chef, she's been a huge asset in the production kitchen. Before retirement, she was an adult-ed math and science teacher. Raquel's been told by countless people "your mom is the BEST teacher I've ever had!"
In her downtime, you'll find her line dancing, playing pickleball, cooking up a beautiful storm, enjoying time at the family cabin, Facetiming her family, or kicking butts in word games.