WHEN JORGE FIERRO CAME TO THE UNITED STATES FROM MEXICO, HE WAS LESS THAN IMPRESSED WITH THE MEXICAN FOOD HE FOUND AVAILABLE IN LOCAL GROCERY STORES.
He recognized a niche waiting to be filled in providing fresh beans and other products authentic to the Mexican table. So in 1997, Jorge began selling his freshly cooked pinto beans at the Downtown Farmer’s Market. His business consisted of a simple card table on which he displayed the beans and sample recipes. Beside the table were two coolers used to keep the product fresh—the Rico Way. Before long, Jorge had developed loyal customers, and he decided to turn his dream of a small business into a reality. The beginning of Rico products was humble, but soon it would become a symbol of freshness and quality recognized by many in the surrounding areas.
Moving forward with his dream in October of 1997, Jorge secured a small Utah Microenterprise Fund loan, which financed packaging and labeling for the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of Rico “De La Olla” pinto beans. Jorge later located the first Rico Mexican Market at 500 East 779 South in Salt Lake City. Over the years, the market expanded its product line and now sells Rico handmade food products in addition to serving Rico Mexican food in the cafe.
In 2004, Jorge further expanded by moving manufacturing operations to a warehouse located at 545 West 700 South in the heart of the warehouse district in Salt Lake City. Currently employing 45 people, the facility produces more than 125 authentic products, which it distributes to more than 60 supermarkets, restaurants, and coffee shops, in locations stretching from Jackson, Wyoming, to Las Vegas, Nevada, with Utah County and the Salt Lake Valley in between.
Jorge was not satisfied with bringing quality Mexican products to the tables of so many families. He wanted to showcase sophisticated Mexican gastronomy at his own restaurant and established Frida Bistro in early 2010. His desire to introduce so many to the finest taste and flavors of Mexico is represented at Frida Bistro– a full service restaurant serving gourmet Mexican dishes in an art-filled space located at Rico headquarters.
Like Frida Kahlo’s passion for art, Frida Bistro represents Jorge’s passion for food—sophisticated Mexican gastronomy. For Jorge, each dish is a memorable experience. A meal at Frida Bistro is to take pleasure in, to take time, to indulge, and to savor.
Utah and Salt Lake City have been very fortunate to have a cultural visionary like Jorge Fierro. Rico products—made The Rico Way—and Frida Bistro—Make Love to your Food—are a gift to our community.