TAMPA, Fla. - For a guy who spends a lot of time in a kitchen, Brian McNulty doesn’t know a lot about the cooking scene.
Forgive this football coach if he doesn’t know all of the culinary icons, like Julia Child. He does know who Martha Stewart is, though.
“I definitely know who she is,” McNulty said. “She does the commercials with Snoop Dogg, right?”
He might not be up on the latest culinary lingo. And his knife skills could use some sharpening.
But McNulty does know one thing. He knows salsa, specifically his homemade Game Day Salsa. He mixes the batches every week and then sells them at local markets.
With a vast array of salsas people can buy at the supermarket, McNulty feels his product stands out for a very specific reason.
“I’m not mass producing this thing. It’s me.,” he said. “That’s what I think is what you can taste, is that it’s handmade, homemade.”
It’s a recipe McNulty’s been perfecting for decades. It started out as something he would bring to family functions. That grew to parties with friends and from there, requests increased for McNulty to make it anytime friends and family got together.
During the pandemic he decided to start marketing and selling it to the public.
“I’m starting out small,” he said. “I’m a one man show. I’m not expecting huge things right away, but one of these days it will blow up, I think.”
This former Jesuit High and USF offensive lineman draws from his football days often. There are aspects of the gridiron that carry over into his salsa business.
“Discipline, knowing what you’re supposed to be doing, timing things up right,” McNulty said. “I mean, this whole starting a business on my own is a lot more than it’s cracked up to be.”
That’s why McNulty makes batch after batch after batch and then sells it at Bay area markets. He set up shop recently at the Seminole Heights market, trying to get everybody who walked by to try his product.
He can tell from the first bite when he’s landed a customer. There’s a certain look. And it’s that look that keeps McNulty going.
“All this stuff I’m putting in here is fresh,” he said. “All together, it tastes very good. The freshest, the chunkiest, the tastiest salsa in Tampa Bay.”