Officially, the story of La Fundidora began around four years ago, when Mexico City native Vitali Meschoulam stepped into the Meat Hook in Williamsburg and saw chorizo verde from Toluca on the counter. His chilango tastebuds and his cooking instincts kicked in, and he knew what kind of salsa would pair best with the spicy sausage. He came back a few days later, a jar of salsa verde in hand, and presented it to the Meat Hook team. Immediately impressed, they told him he should start selling his concoctions at the Brooklyn Kitchen.
For the following months, Vitali took the very little free time his job as a financial analyst left him to make salsas in his apartment kitchen and take them to his neighborhood purveyors. But it was actually a business trip to Mexico that would trigger the salsas’ transformation from hobby to actual brand–he just didn’t know it yet.
During his stay in Mexico City, Vitali met fellow banker Lorena, who, after hearing about his salsa startup, jokingly told him he should hire her as CEO and transfer her to New York. “We weren’t even dating then,” laughs Lorena, “and three years later, here we are!” Her proposal worked. Maybe the salsa part took a bit longer, but they became a couple soon after, and a year into their long-distance relationship, she left Mexico City and joined Vitali in Williamsburg.