Nearly 25 years ago, Gary Geiser made a purchase that would attract tens of thousands of Colorado’s most avid foodies. Known as King’s Chef Diner, the small 13-seat Colorado Springs restaurant was a historical landmark, built in 1956. It ran successfully for over 40 years, and when Gary purchased it in 1997, he redesigned the menu items, and business grew from there, with a second location opened in 2008, features on the Food Network and CBS’s Roker on the Road, and the award for Best Diner in America. The diner’s most famous specialty item—Colorado Green Chili Sauce—exploded with the start of its Whole Foods program in 2007. Since the product’s launch, King’s Chef has sold more than 400,000 jars, making it one of the most popular green chili brands in the world. The sauce is currently sold on Amazon, carried in over 300 grocery stores, and distributed throughout nine states—in Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, King Soopers, among others. On the heels of the product’s success, Gary launched the country’s first—and widely popular—non-GMO-project green chili sauce.
Handcrafted with Colorado green chili peppers, the sauce is always vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO project verified. Both sauces are produced by hand via the small batch process, and to the delight of consumers, they’re completely shelf stable. “We work with small farmers with small lots to produce really flavorful fruit, and this is what we’re known for,” says Gary. To meet growing consumer demand, King’s Chef opened its own FDA and USDA licensed manufacturing arm in 2014. The 15,000 square-foot facility produces Colorado Green Chili sauce and salsa as well as potato chips. They also co-pack private-label products for supermarkets and provide bulk amounts of green chilis to other manufacturers. “When I go into grocery stores, nothing pleases me more than seeing one of our items in someone’s basket or watching a shopper take one off the shelf,” says Gary. “I truly enjoy bridging the food manufacturing and restaurant sides, but what really drives me is the happiness of consumers.”