In today's episode we get to hear first hand from Humberto Raygoza, AKA The Chori-Man, and his business partner, Mandy Barton, how he became LA's number one chorizo maker.
EPISODE DATE: 2/6/2019
Humberto Raygoza shares the story of how he became The Chori-Man, and joining him to tell this incredible story is his business partner, Mandy Barton. Together they run The Chori-Man, a local chorizo deli located on 24th and Alma St.
Humberto was originally in the medical field when he became known amongst his peers for always eating beans for lunch. There was nothing extraordinary about his routine until one day his co-worker wanted to try some. This was the beginning. The beans were cooked with homemade chorizo from his family's traditional southern Mexican recipe. It was a matter of time before he quit his job as a medical professional to become what he called a "chorizo man".
Humberto on leaving his job to become the "chorizo man" :
"I came home one day from school and I was like ' you know I don't think this is for me. I don't want to do this anymore'. So I call my dad and was like 'Yo, can I get the chorizo recipe' and he says 'Yeah. You going to have a barbecue?' and I was like, 'Nope!I'm gonna become the chorizo-man.'" - Humberto Raygoza
His adventure began as a chorizo maker. He sought more training from his family who had been in the cattle and butcher business for years. Growing up his dad made fresh chorizo, menudo and birria and sell straight from his home. After a few weeks of training from his mom and dad he was selling chorizo out of a cooler on the streets of Los Angeles.
After a few a few wholesale deals between local restaurants and the deli he was working at at the time, he was starting to get known in the area. One day he was a approached by a man who later described his chorizo purchase much like a drug deal on the corner. It was this purchase and the fine chorizo that inspired this man, a writer for LA Weekly, to write about LA's "Best Secret Chorizo".
Humberto's chorizo business continued to grow. He made more whole sale deals, providing hundreds of pounds of chorizo for multiple restaurants in Los Angeles. One day while working at an event he was approached by a woman who was seeking local food makers to sell at a new major artist project at the Port of Los Angeles, Crafted. This is what brought Humberto's business to San Pedro and how he eventually met San Pedro native, Mandy Barton, his business partner.
Mandy on meeting The Chori-Man:
" I live in Pedro, and in 2015 I discovered him at Crafted. I'd never eaten chorizo before ... It became my Sunday ritual. I'd go to the farmers market and I'd go to the Chori-Man." - Mandy Barton
In 2016, after bringing Mandy on board as a managing partner, she booked as many events as she could for him, at his request. The popularity of the Chori-Man began to grow throughout all of Los Angeles. The Chori-man had been in numerous Los Angeles publications and articles, all praising the great artisan chorizo. Humberto became so busy that his body began to tire so much that he couldn't keep up with demand. When it was time to find a brick and mortar shop, Mandy showed him the location on 24th and Alma Street, inside a cozy neighborhood. The rest was history.
The Chori-Man plans to expand to it's second location in the near future and it's third location at the San Pedro Public Market after it's completion. Humberto is also a candidate for San Pedro's Honorary Mayor. His business is raising money for San Pedro Meals On Wheels and Green Girl Farms.
Best Secret Chrizo
LA's Best Underground Chorizo Maker...
Get to know the Chori-Man
San Pedro's Butcher
The Chori-Man website
The Chori-Man on instagram