Texas has one of the highest populations of mesquite trees in the country. To the average person this really doesn’t matter, but to Victoria Barrera Cappadona, those feathery, spring-green trees with long, glittering, golden beans have been the catalysts to a tremendous change in her life.
“When we were in the midst of a heavy drought in 2012, everything dried up around the ranch except the mesquite trees which looked like Christmas trees with their beautiful glorious pods,” Cappadona stated. “I asked my father-in-law what could be done with the mesquite bean pods and he said he’d heard of honey and jelly being made.”
Launching into research mode, a common mode for this inquisitive, exuberant woman, Victoria began studying about the bean and discovered its many health benefits. Deciding to act on the knowledge, she first launched her original Mesquite Bean Jelly-experiment with the Chilli Pequin for a delicious added kick. With her mesquite bean jellies selling out year after year, Victoria took the hint and opened her company, Rio Grande Mesquite LLC. While she continued her mesquite quest, she applied for and won one of the McAllen Chamber’s Innovation Grants of 2016.
The more she learned, the more excited she became. Discovering its “Superfood” nickname, due, in part, to its fat-free, anti-fungal and omega-3 fatty acid qualities, Cappadona began adding to her mesquite bean line products.
Accidently roasting some beans led to the creation of Cappadona Ranch’s coffee and flour products. As the sole company offering mesquite tea, Victoria has said the nuisance of making the tea is definitely worth the benefits it could offer others.
Enthused by all things mesquite, she is determined to share the knowledge it has taken her years to accumulate in the hopes of delivering something special everyone can enjoy.
“I know we have such an overabundance of the mesquite trees here and we have so many people who could benefit from it, either through jobs or otherwise. It is a wonderfood. The future in bean products is endless.”
Cappadona Ranch products are so wonderful, in fact, that not only has Victoria won the Innovation Grant, but was also the recipient of the USDA’s 2016 Value Added Grant, has had products appear in articles done by Texas Co-Op Power, and will also have her products showcased by GO TEXAN at the 2018 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
Cappadona smiles and her lovely face lights up with impish delight, knowing without a doubt, she’s on to something great.