With help from the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) and Rio Arriba County, FishSki Provisions – a Southwestern flavored comfort foods business – has made a new home in Alcalde, north of Española.
Founded by Rob McCormack and his wife Tania in 2016 in Colorado, their first product hit the shelves in 2017, but the lure of New Mexico’s skiing and fly fishing, not to mention food, culture and history led to the McCormacks moving to live here in 2020, and their business has now followed.
In 2021, FishSki Provisions was awarded Regional Development Corporation’s (RDC) Technology and Manufacturing (TEAM) no-interest loan to purchase the remaining equipment needed to establish their own manufacturing facility including two large weigh fill machines, a band sealer and embosser, a belt conveyor, and steel prep tables. The RDC is supported by a grant from Laboratory operator Triad National Security.
“The RDC was instrumental in moving our business from Colorado to New Mexico,” says Rob McCormack. “We were first connected with RDC through our local small business development center in Taos County. They introduced us to the TEAM Fund, which we subsequently were awarded to purchase about half the machinery we didn't own but were leasing in Colorado. That enabled us to buckle down and make the move.”
The RDC also propelled FishSki Provisions’ successful move to Northern New Mexico by helping make critical connections with Rio Arriba County to identify a manufacturing location in Alcalde, and with Hoy Recovery Center to employ Hoy clients.
The Hoy Recovery Center provides culturally relevant substance abuse services in a safe environment, and FishSki’s partnership offers Hoy clients stable employment and experience, allowing FishSki to support the local community, add jobs, and build a workforce.
FishSki employs four to six people for each production run, which currently take place one to three days a week, and future full-time jobs are anticipated.
Looking to the future
FishSki Provisions is growing quickly. Their Hatch Chili Macaroni & Cheese and Jalapeño Hatch Green Chili Cheddar Grits are in 500 stores across the country. Another 200 stores will be added by the end of 2022.
In addition to expanding the FishSki brand, the company plans to fill a critical need in New Mexico’s emerging boutique food production industry by becoming a co-packaging partner for other New Mexico businesses.
“It's really hard for small growing businesses and mid-sized companies to find people that will pack with consistent quality control and offer good pricing,” says McCormack.
In addition to diversifying the company's business model, FishSki Provisions hopes these future endeavors will attract additional businesses and jobs to Alcalde and Rio Arriba County.
‘We really, really have a lot to thank the RDC for,” says McCormack.