Made in the 956 - Dip it by Pilar creator Pilar Gonzalez
Who doesn't love a good dip?
You've likely seen Pilar Gonzalez dips at H-E-B's across the Rio Grande Valley.
Gonzalez is the owner of Dip It By Pilar. She talks about how her business all got started with her love for cooking and taking a chance.
“I never had a dream. I never had an ah-ha moment. It was something that just happened,” Gonzalez said.
That something she's talking about is her packaging company in the Valley. Gonzalez's specialty are the assorted flavors of dips.
Gonzalez said it all started as a hobby and a love for cooking.
“I was doing these dips in my house. I was selling it to my friends and family, and then one day I decided to sell it in the stores, like meat markets and tortillerias and things like that,” Gonzalez said.
But that quickly proved to be problematic for Gonzalez.
“It was very expensive. It was me, my time, and my dips, and then I have to buy the chips,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez connected with another local entrepreneur who made chips, and he entered a contest with the city of Mission.
“When he went to the contest, he said, 'can you give me some of your dips, so the judges can try my chips,' and I said 'yes,'” Gonzalez said.
Her friend went on to win that contest and told Gonzalez some surprising news.
“That night, he called me and said, 'forget about the chips. They want the dips,'” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez later entered the same contest on her own and ended up winning $25,000. The city then went to her and asked her to represent them in HEB's Quest for Texas Best Contest.
She won second place.
With her dips taking off, Gonzalez was able to go back to school.
“I didn’t know how to handle all these new things happening in front of me, I went back to college, and I was like 'I need to learn,'” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez got what she needed from South Texas College. Now the future of her business is looking, and tasting, better than ever.
“I think one of my dreams is to push, to help and to encourage other small entrepreneurs to jump into the water and to start swimming," Gonzalez said. "And create new jobs and create new opportunities and to make our city a better city, so we can give back to the community as much as we have received.”
Pilar Gonzalez, and Dip It By Pilar, made in the 956.