My name is Gloria O’Bryan. In 2010, I started this small business to create products with distinctively bold flavors using a few key ingredients.
The love of cooking, the aroma of roasting chilies, the mix of spices, and re-connecting with my cultural roots all came together in La Cruz Specialty Foods.
My focus is to combine fruits and vegetables with chilies and spices to create simple food with bold flavor; food with a full, natural taste from the ingrediences themselves, no artificial flavoring.
Meet Gloria Montez-O’Bryan
I am a Latina, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Both of my parents are of Mexican descent. My mother was born in New Mexico. My father was born in the pre-Columbian tribe of the Tarascan of Michoacan, Mexico. My parents worked in the fields picking celery and green beans
I attended college and completed my RN degree. My nursing career has been in women’s health services (OB-GYN) and surgery.
My husband and I moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1987. I worked twelve years at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver. Since 1998, I’ve worked at Boulder Community Health. We raised our three kids in Boulder. We also have two grand-daughters.
I’ve been fortunate to have a successful nursing career. I wanted to give something back. For many years, I volunteered for the hospital’s surgical team on medical missions to the city of Mante, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. In Mante, I came full circle with the cultural roots of my father, and my own: The colors, the feel, the food, and especially, the people. I found a piece of myself in Mante. Unfortunately, BCH had to stop the missions a few years ago because of drug cartel violence. Since then, I’ve volunteered to teach English as a second language.
La Cruz Specialty Foods
I’ve always wanted to cook, but since moving to Colorado in 1987, cooking and canning have become passions of mine. I started canning salsa and strawberry jam, buying fresh fruits and vegetables directly from local farmers. I also became interested in chutney. Chutney comes in many flavors, but common to all chutney is the combination of ingredients----vegetables, fruits, chili, and spices---to deliver distinctive flavor.
A friend from Montrose, CO, Mabel Cruz, helped me with some of my canning techniques. Mabel taught me a lot about canning; in time, I earned certification in professional canning by the Better Process Control School, University of California, Davis, California.
With the support of family and friends, I created La Cruz Specialty Foods with three salsas, three chutneys, and strawberry jam. I used Mabel’s last name to honor her.
La Cruz developed quickly---FDA approvals, label design, Christmas gift shows, friends, farmers’ markets, and local retail stores.
In August 2014, Whole Foods Market in Ft. Collins, CO, began carrying La Cruz products. To date, La Cruz is in seventeen WF stores in the Denver Metro area and two WF stores in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The path of La Cruz Specialty Foods continues...
The mission of La Cruz Speciality Foods is to add
the quality of homemade taste and flavor to your favorite dishes.
La Cruz Specialty Foods