We've driven all of our sales through online platforms since we started the company, and we continue to see massive growth every year.”Preston Mitchell
Preston Mitchell’s great, great grandparents founded the first commercial green chile farm in New Mexico’s Hatch Valley nearly 80 years ago. When business began to falter, Preston decided to reach new customers by taking the operation online. In 2005, while still a young teen, he launched The Hatch Chile Store. “I understood that Hatch chile peppers were famous because of where they’re grown, and people from around the country are always looking to get them fresh,” Preston explains. Eventually, he bought his grandparents’ share in the business and grew The Hatch Chile Store into one of the largest online retailers of everything fans could want, from fresh chile, to salsas, to apparel. “We provide certified chile peppers grown right here in the Hatch Valley to consumers all over the globe,” Preston says proudly.
The Hatch Chile Store has always used the reach of the Internet to crank up the heat on their business. AdWords, Google’s advertising program, “is really where it all started,” says Preston. “When we signed up for AdWords, our growth absolutely exploded. It was insane. We grew five-fold our first year, and it helped us grab a whole bunch of market share really quickly.” Today 95 percent of their marketing budget goes to online advertising, with Google Search and ads driving 70 percent of their web traffic. The company also uses Google Analytics to track their site’s performance and keep web traffic flowing through checkout. Their blogs and YouTube videos share tasty local recipes with viewers everywhere. And G Suite tools, such as Gmail, Docs, and Drive, power their internal operations.
With an annual growth rate of 55 percent, business shows no signs of cooling down for The Hatch Chile Store. Their prized peppers are available at over 150 retail locations nationwide. They ship their product to Hatch chile aficionados in a dozen countries, and over 50,000 customers enjoy their chile every year. Even their flagship store in Las Cruces has become a destination for chile lovers visiting New Mexico. All of this is good news for Preston, who takes great pride in being able to continue his family’s legacy of sharing the Hatch Valley’s famous produce with the world. “Our fans are so passionate about our chile. The fact that I can make their day with a box of them is incredible,” he shares. “It’s genuinely my favorite part of the job.”