Today, Tapatio Hot Sauce, still made in Vernon by the Saavedra family, is found in supermarkets across North and Central America and in Europe. The five-ounce bottle with the sombrero-wearing charro on the label is a familiar presence not only at Mexican eateries in LA but in diners, pizza parlors, and steak houses, too. Families purchase it in gallon-jug sizes, and a packet designed for military MREs (Meal[s], Ready-to-Eat) is popular among soldiers serving abroad. It all started in Saavedra's kitchen, where he and his wife, Lolita, began bottling their own, well-balanced, vermilion-hued sauce—a blend of red chiles (to this day, the family won't reveal the variety), vinegar, garlic, and spices—to sell to Saavedra's co-workers. The sauce is robust in pepper flavor, not too acidic, and just hot enough. Saavedra called it -Tapatio, the nickname for people from Guadalajara, where his children were born. "When I started, my only idea was to earn some money to pay for their education," he says.