By Tanner Stening
Ben Johnson, of Sandwich, achieved something last summer that his 20-year-old peers can be proud of.
The young chef, business owner and Bryant University sophomore sold about 800 jars of his homemade salsa at farmers markets in Sandwich and Osterville.
The name of his business, “My Fathah’s Salsa,” in honor of his father, Richard, is a play on “that Boston New England accent,” Johnson said. He’s turned his father’s salsa recipe into an aspiring enterprise.
Johnson said he pitched the recipe to a group of classmates in a course called Global Foundations of Business.
The course required students to craft a business plan to pitch a group of students; Johnson took the lead, offering his father’s salsa recipe.
“We wrote a business plan and my professor talked to me about turning it into a real business,” Johnson said.
“The original recipe was something my dad played around with for a while,” Johnson said. “He changed the heat, the spices, stuff like that.”
Johnson got a head start from his college, receiving several thousand dollars from the Jackson W. Goss Prize. He said the money helped take some of the stress out of starting a new business.
Using the funds, Johnson is joining an incubator program out of Rhode Island called Hope and Main, which will let him use a commercial kitchen to make his product.
Johnson said the space provides for “big batches, labeling equipment and jarring equipment” so he can produce the salsa in large quantities for stores.
Johnson says he has an LLC and trademarks for his slogan and logo, and is working to improve his social media presence, branding and marketing. He hopes to land his salsa in 15 to 20 stores this summer.
He said his plan is to open a business on Cape Cod in the future to help bring jobs to the area.
“I want to bring production and all business activities to Cape Cod,” he said. “My end goal is to be able to create a business that is profitable and local to the place I love.”