Like most folks these days, Sarah Gauthier Galluzzo ’94 of Fairfield has tried her hand at several different careers since graduating from Sacred Heart University, but she attributes her success at every one to the skills she developed during her college years.
Galluzzo graduated from SHU with a double major in English (with a writing concentration) and sociology and then went on to earn a master’s of arts degree in writing from Manhattanville College while working full time as a copywriter. Perhaps her biggest claim to fame as a copywriter is naming the “Over the Moon” milk product for Garelick Farms. She says she loves naming things and also named the Lizard Lightning and Lizard Fuel drinks for Sobe.
Most recently, Galluzzo named her very own organic salsa and simmer sauce -- GourGanics®. The project was born in 2008 out of a desire to combine her two biggest passions -- writing and cooking. “Mark Twain said ‘make your vacation your vocation,’ and that is what I am trying to do with GourGanics,” Galluzzo said. “I love to cook, and everyone encouraged me, so a new company was born.”
She chose organic salsa because she had long made it a point to feed her family -- husband Jay ’99, son Domenick and daughter Samantha -- healthy and organic food. She is proud that her salsa is USDA organic and is made from ingredients that are as local as possible. She said she started with a really good recipe that has only gotten better over the years. In fact, she says, it makes an excellent simmer sauce. She adds new recipes for cooking with salsa to her blog -- gourganics.com -- every week.
These days, she rents space and hires employees for one big “jarring” session a year. At that time, she and her team fill 4,000 jars -- or 400 cases -- of salsa. Her product, which has a two-year shelf life, currently can be found at Whole Foods, specialty stores, gourmet markets and delis, including the Pantry in Fairfield, CT. Future plans call for expanding the line to larger chain grocery stores and into Vermont and New York.
“Everything I learned at Sacred Heart is rolled into this business,” Galluzzo said. “First of all, you have to be fearless to take on this kind of project. You have to be able to deal with whatever comes your way, whether it’s tomato blight or some other roadblock. I grew so much at Sacred Heart. My experiences there made me the confident person I am today.”
She said the professional accomplishments she is most proud of are her Sacred Heart and Manhattanville College diplomas, her online portfolio and her USDA certificate and registered trademark. “The skills I learned while studying writing and sociology have been a huge part of the success of my company. Even more important, though, was the relationships I developed at Sacred Heart, the encouragement I received from my professors and the example they set for becoming a successful, confident and productive part of the local community.
Galluzzo hopes to expand her product line in 2013. In the meantime, she will continue to make delicious salsa with local, USDA-approved ingredients. She will also continue her current practice of donating a portion of her proceeds to charities that support children.