How The Queen Of Chili Launched Her Dynasty
“Don’t wait to follow your dream. Do it now.“ -- Cindy Wilkins
When Cindy Wilkins was a young girl she never thought she’d become the head of a chili dynasty nor one of the most famous chili-making champions around the world. Things changed, however, when Cindy took up the hobby her aunt, uncle, mom, and dad had been participating in, perfecting, and winning awards for, for years prior to Cindy coveting the crown.
It was 1992 and 1993 when Cindy won the world chili-making championship back-to-back. Since then, Cindy’s unexpected entrepreneurial career in chili has never been more spicy -- much of which she attributes to the help of her husband and business partner, Bruce.
“This would never have happened had I not had a husband who wanted to help me make my dream come true. It is our baby.”
No doubt, it is -- Bruce being the marketing genius behind the Cin Chili & Company brand and Cindy, the recipe creator for the majority of the products. A small operation, it has been Cin Chili & Company’s ability to project a big attitude that has won them a place on the shelves of 125 retail stores as well as a booming online business. Is it any wonder that Food Network’s own Bobby Flay arrived on Cindy’s doorstep, one day, to “throw her down” so-to-speak. The result? A tie. Oh Bobby. Oh, Cindy!
Needless-to-say, therein lies the beginnings of Cin Chili & Company’s phone ringing off the hook and the launch of Cindy’s full-time career as an entrepreneur, business owner, and chili extraordinaire. Life became just one big bowl of chili for Cindy and Bruce from that day forward, with new products being developed along the way. “Some of those products arose from mistakes -- like our pickles,” exclaimed Cindy, “But that hasn’t stopped people from loving them.”
I include myself in that group, mind you. I also love something else about what Cin Chili & Company is doing. I love how they support our military troops -- devising and shipping ready-to-eat chili packs to those that serve at this compassionate company’s own expense. “My dad was in the air force. Being able to help our troops in this way is our privilege.” Cin Chili & Company is, currently, looking for a new co-packer to continue this program. If anyone knows of a company that might fit their needs, please send them Cindy and Bruce’s way.
In the meantime, there is no time like the present to make your way over to Cin Chili & Company’s website to order yourself a heaping bowl of chili and more. You needn’t wait for the cold weather to hit as chili is ‘good eats’ for any season, especially one which has you grilling up hot dogs on the barbie regularly.
Don’t let those dogs go naked. Cover them up with Cin Chili. It’s world champion fare in your own backyard -- neighbors, friends, and family worthy. I, daresay, Bobby Flay might even come a’knockin. Don’t underestimate the possibility. You never know what Mr. Flay is going do. Just ask Cindy Wilkins. She'll tell ya!
--Laura Wellington, Editor