For Marine Aviation Ordnanceman Adrian Marquez, the transition from military to civilian life was filled with its own unique challenges, ones which he bravely overcame to reach new heights as the owner of his very own salsa business Mr. KEZY EZ Salsa.
After serving as an Aviation Ordnanceman — those who procure aviation ammunition and handle all ammunition safety issues — on multiple deployments overseas, Adrian was diagnosed with PTSD due to the constant stress and imminent danger he faced over years of faithful service. As Adrian transitioned into civilian life, he began pursuing a new passion, one which would allow him to send his customers “a piece of home.” His business? Mr. KEZY EZ Salsa — a delicious, dehydrated salsa, which creatively combines the flavors of Adrian’s childhood memories of Mexico with the convenience of taking the “flavors of home” wherever life leads. Just add water and this incredible salsa can be enjoyed anywhere.
“Something that was ever present through my years in the service, was a feeling of loneliness, something I luckily don’t feel now being close to family and friends. But at that time, anything that helped close the distance was always welcome. Whether it be with deployment care packages or trying to make some Mexican dishes while in Hawaii or North Carolina … that’s where the idea was born,” he said, inspired to create a product that would bring people together, spark conversation, and recreate the irreplaceable comfort of being home.
With help from our Apprenticeship Program in collaboration with The Home Depot Foundation, Adrian received vital funding to transform his garage into a kitchen to make his salsa. The remodel included cabinets, counters, insulated garage doors, exhaust/ventilation fans, a range hood, air conditioning with supplemental heat, tile work, carpentry, a commercial refrigerator, and commercial dehydrators — everything Adrian needed to dramatically increase production by creating larger batches of salsa with the freshest ingredients.
Support from The Home Depot Foundation has opened new doors for Adrian, allowing him to market to retailers and camping/outdoor enthusiasts, which has tremendously grown his business and transformed Adrian’s life.
“Semper Fi & America’s Fund helped me validate this great idea and has become instrumental in propelling it onto its feet … Since dehydrated, traditional homemade salsa is not something currently in the market, it captured attention right away,” he said. “It is truly incredible watching this idea take life.”
This National Salsa Month, order Adrian’s incredible salsa for yourself: https://kezysalsa.com/