Updated January 6, 2023 | 5:40PM MST


Frank Najar is a man who wears many hats. With a bachelor's degree in business and marketing, he has not only worked as a marketing manager for 15 years but also has 12 years of experience in the restaurant industry. In fact, Najar is the owner of Tio Frank's, a restaurant he co-founded 16 years ago with his family.

Najar's journey with Tio Frank’s began when he had to move to Albuquerque to raise his two nephews and niece after his sister passed away. Together with his parents, Najar opened a restaurant named “Deans” (after Frank’s mom) and ran it for six years. However, after the events of 9/11, business began to slow down, leading the family to close the restaurant. Despite this, loyal customers would often express how much they missed Tio Frank's hot chile sauce.

It was then that Najar decided to jar the chile sauce instead of continuing to operate a restaurant. Tio Frank's started jarring the sauce at the South Valley Economic Development Center, filling each jar by hand in batches of 30 cases, with 12 jars in each. Initially, they had no customers and local distributors were unwilling to carry their products. Undeterred, Najar and his team went door-to-door to local grocery stores, eventually establishing themselves and gaining the support of distributors.

Tio Frank's chile sauce is fully cooked and ready to eat, made from all-natural ingredients including red and green chile, flour, oil, garlic, salt, and vitamin C. The company prides itself on making the best chile sauce on the market and has not raised prices despite increasing costs in recent years. In order to remain competitive in a crowded industry, Tio Frank's has also introduced a larger 36oz size that appeals to businesses and individuals who use more chile sauce.

Najar has some wisdom to share with other business owners as well. He advises to "have an extra source of capital" and to "not quit your day job" as it takes time to build loyal customers. Looking to the future, Najar envisions not only continuing to grow Tio Frank's but also branching out into food processing for both his own company.

Tio Frank's Social Profiles Below