Margaret Figueroa finds peace in her kitchen. [[384014701,R]]
"I love cooking, " she said. "It relaxes me."
And there's one thing her family is known for.
"We eat a lot of pepper, " she added. "And everyday it gets hotter and hotter!"
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It's something her son's David and Greg have grown to appreciate and embrace. 26 years ago they launched Melinda's Hot Sauce in their hometown of New Orleans.
"They said we're gonna bottle these peppers and I said, okay, go for it, " Margaret said.
"At the time we started people thought tobacco was just the name of a sauce, they didn't realize it was the actual pepper, " Greg Figueroa joked.
Melinda's became the first habanero hot sauce distributed nationally in the U.S.
Their company is now based in Irving.
"We had a hurricane sweep us here to Texas, " David recalled. "The mother of all hurricanes, Katrina."
Initially the plan was to rebuild and return to Louisiana, but they quickly found North Texas was the perfect place to grow their business.
"Texas is home now, " Greg said. "How we got here was tough, but being here has been a blessing."
"Tough times don't last but tough people do, " David added. "And our family is very strong."