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Savoring Tradition: The Art of Senor Campos Salsa

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Senor Campos Salsa was first served in 1951. Art Campos was a pioneer in the Mexican Food Industry and started selling tacos, tamales and burritos in front of his tortilla factory. I was only three years old but remember my brother Roger and I would climb on the large sacks of corn that was used to making the tortillas.


The making of his tortillas

My father would get up very early in the morning and head down to the tortilla factory and then he filled a huge- long tub with corn and water. Next, he would light the three burners and then check it about every hour. I remember him pouring Lime in the tub as this was a preservative. The corn needed to cook for eight hours and then cooled for another eight hours.

Perfect blend and ready to be mixed.

When the workers came in to run the tortillas, they had to put the corn in a corn grinder and then it would be grounded into Masa. The Masa was put into the roller and was placed on a large cooking machine where the "magic" began. The masa fell into a round neat circle and rolled down onto the oven. The tortillas in three rows heated and transferred it onto a conveyor belt where the tortillas were cooled. The conveyor was about forty feet long. There were coolers in certain sections that cooled the tortillas as they ran down the conveyor belt.

Handmade with Love:

The tortillas ended up on another belt and one worker would hand pick each tortilla into a stack of twelve tortillas. He placed each twelve and handed it to another worker where that worker placed them into a clear bag, with a "Campos Foods Tortilla" label. The ready-made tortillas would scoot down the ramp, where other worker placed the fresh tortillas into a box of 24. The boxes were stacked upon each other and placed in a waiting area ready to be shipped to the distributor.

Fresh cut tortillas ready to be fried and then served to our customers with fresh home-made salsa!

In the kitchen area in the restaurant in front of the tortilla factor was where the fresh tortillas would be cut into a triangle and then placed into a deep fryer and fried to perfection! When the tortilla chips were ready, they would be placed in a large waiting area where the cook sprinkled an amazing light seasoning that made the taste even better. Wow, I loved that taste and so did ALL our customers.


Senor Campos' salsa recipe was made by my father Art Campos who had inherited from my grandmother, his mother and it was handed down in her family back in Mexico.

Boy was it delicious! I loved that flavor, and I couldn't get the taste out of my head over the years after I left the Mexican Food Industry. NO OTHER RESTAURANT I HAD VISITED HAD THAT TASTE!

The Perfect Number 12 and working for my father

I started working for my father when I was fourteen years old. I would count the tortillas into twelve and hand then to my grandfather, Francisco, who felt them to make sure there were exactly twelve. He placed them into a curved stainless scoop where the next worker put them in a bag. The bag moved down a short conveyor unto a place where they were ready to be placed into a box of 24. DON'T ASK ME HOW, BUT MY GRANDFATHER knew exactly how much twelve tortillas weighed. His hands knew the exact weight and if it wasn't twelve, he would add one more tortilla or if it was thirteen, he put one back.


Experience the Cantina-Style Magic

My father passed away int 1995 but, left a huge impression on my mind and spirit. I had worked for my father for over twenty years and owned and operated three Senor Campos restaurant franchises. I loved the taste of his delicious Mexican food especially his tortilla chips and salsa. I searched and searched but couldn't find the taste anywhere. Another twenty years went by. I started making the salsa years ago at family reunions and also mailed the salsa to my family and friends. They kept asking for more and more.



Finally, in 2018, I told myself that I needed to share his delicious salsa to the world! I started making the exact recipe, since he had handed down to me and I knew the exact recipe and taste!.

It took me time to get the ingredients registered, jarred labeled and submitted for approval to the FDA. Ounce it was approved I opened a website and started selling it to the public. I also attended events, craft fairs to sell to the public, which I still do today. The Home and Garden Shows in Phoenix have been a great success. Today, I still sell our salsa but only online through my website at



Author's bio:

Stephen Paul Campos is a US Army service- disabled veteran and owner of Senor Campos Salsa. He worked for his father Art Campos at Campos Foods and Senor Campos restaurants in the Central Valley of California. His passion is to honor his father with serving the delicious salsa that was served in all Senor Campos restaurants, enjoy!



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