Burma and Butch Baselice received the Small Business of the Year Award from Chamber of Commerce Chair Marilyn Appleby (right) at the celebration held at the Community Center.

Chamber honors Red Hot Foods/SP Salsa for fiery devotion to community

March 22, 2017
Santa Paula News

Red Hot Foods/Santa Paula Salsa Mfg. Co. was honored as Small Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce for its fiery devotion to the community at the March 1 Celebrate Santa Paula/Citizen of the Year Awards banquet.

Held at the Community Center, the sold out crowd at the annual celebration enjoyed an evening of paying tribute to individuals and businesses that make a difference for Santa Paula.

Cathy Hicks presented the award to Burma and Butch Baselice, the former recovering from surgery she had just days before who was delivered to the event in a wheelchair from Vista Cove where she is recovering.

Hicks said, “One of the first things I noticed about Burma and Butch is as a volunteer I’m usually at everyone’s door asking for different things. I was at their door asking for product and they asked me to help them so now I volunteer for them.”

The couple “Do marvelous things for the community. They have so many different lines of sauces and salsas,” they generously share with a plethora of fundraisers. 

“They are just wonderful, wonderful people. Anyone that needs anything they always help, they really deserve this award,” said Hicks.

Burma introduced members of the company team on hand for the awards and noted, “They hold us together. We’re very fortunate to live in Santa Paula.”

“When I moved here in 1975,” Butch said, “I would go to The Mill to buy chickenfeed every Saturday and talk to the farmers. If I hadn’t moved here what would I have now?”

The Santa Paula community, he added, is like no other.

“The money you raised for SPPD Sgt. Jimmy Fogata was unreal, even when we ran out of food people didn’t care they just gave us money. We have to be proud of that — Santa Paula is that kind of an old-style community.”

After a quarter-century career in the restaurant business and ready for a change, Butch established Red Hot Foods in 1995 in Oxnard and soon put together an entire line of award-winning salsas and hot sauces for sale to the public. 

Butch and his wife Burma re-located the company to Santa Paula in 2005 and now carry over 100 products including salsas, hot sauces, BBQ sauces, flavored olive oils, dressings, soup mixes, jams, jellies, seasonings and condiments at their facility located at 820 Railroad Ave. Red Hot Foods guarantees all products are all natural with no chemical preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, dyes or fillers. Santa Paula Salsa Co. was opened in 2012 and is the only “Hot Shop” in Ventura County. 

Chamber President Marilyn Appleby said, “Butch and Burma are generous supporters, and valuable members of the Santa Paula community. We thank them for their support!”

The awards dinner also featured honors given to Citizen of the Year Harold Edwards, Sam Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award winners Dianne and Dudley Davis, Community Service Award recipients Elvia Hernandez and Carlos Juarez, Non-Profit of the Year Blanchard Community Library, Business Beautification Award — Santa Paula Orthodontics Jared T. Lee, DDS MS, and Large Business of the Year Bank of the Sierra. 

Mayor Jenny Crosswhite gave the State of the City Address before an audience of community leaders and elected officials that included Ventura County Supervisor Kelly Long, Santa Paula Vice Mayor Ginger Gherardi and Councilmen Clint Garman, Martin Hernandez and John Procter.

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