Texas has one of the highest populations of mesquite trees in the country. To the average person this really doesn’t matter, but to Victoria Barrera Cappadona, those feathery, spring-green trees with long, glittering, golden beans have been the catalysts to a tremendous change in her life.
“When we were in the midst of a heavy drought in 2012, everything dried up around the ranch except the mesquite trees which looked like Christmas trees with their beautiful glorious pods,” Cappadona stated. “I asked my father-in-law what could be done with the mesquite bean pods and he said he’d heard of honey and jelly being made.”
Launching into research mode, a common mode for this inquisitive, exuberant woman, Victoria began studying about the bean and discovered its many health benefits. Deciding to act on the knowledge, she first launched her original Mesquite Bean Jelly-experiment with the Chilli Pequin for a delicious added kick. With her mesquite bean jellies selling out year after year, Victoria took the hint and opened her company, Rio Grande Mesquite LLC. While she continued her mesquite quest, she applied for and won one of the McAllen Chamber’s Innovation Grants of 2016.
The more she learned, the more excited she became. Discovering its “Superfood” nickname, due, in part, to its fat-free, anti-fungal and omega-3 fatty acid qualities, Cappadona began adding to her mesquite bean line products.