Pueblo farmers negotiate with out-of-state NFL team to promote chile products

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 23:40:43-04

It’s a twist to the chile pepper rivalry between New Mexico and Colorado. 

On Friday, the Pueblo Chile Growers Association told News 5 that another professional football team is involved. It comes after a deal the Denver Broncos made last month with 505 Southwestern. It’s parent company, Flagship Food Group, is Denver-based. However, all of its products are made with New Mexico-grown ingredients. The partnership is one that has the association and other locals upset.

Alex Gardner, executive chef at Brues Alehouse, said, "It frustrated me when I heard that."

Pueblo resident David Garduno said,  "I think Pueblo has the best chile and I think that they’re going too far away."

As some Puebloans say, it’s a slap in the face. Instead of Pueblo chile products at Mile High Stadium, it’s now New Mexico green Hatch chile. 

Shane Milberger, owner of Milberger Farms, said, "I like local. I do local. I support local. The growers out here support local, so in turn we like to see local support local and they’re not doing so. So we’re going to find us another football team to team up with."

Milberger, a member of the Pueblo Chile Growers Association, is hopeful that a deal can be reached and that this other NFL team will promote Pueblo chile products at its stadium. 

"It’s a great honor that another state is coming in to visit with us to team up with them and their football team. For somebody to come as far as they did to visit with us it’s a good honor. It’s great."

The name of the team is staying a secret until details are hammered out. Just for fun, News 5 asked locals what team they would choose. 

Garduno said, "The L.A. Chargers…I’ve been to California before and I didn’t really care for their chile."

Others are going a different route and not choosing an NFL team at all. 

Richard Warner, owner of Bingo Burger, said, "I would pick probably the Rockies or the Avs." 

Gardner said, "The Nuggets. How about that? I mean I love Colorado. I’d like us to promote ourselves."

News 5 also reached out to the Broncos. The team says it takes pride in partnering with local Colorado owned and operated companies like Flagship Food Group who distributes 505 Southwestern green chile. 

As far as the other NFL team involved, Milberger says it could be months before an announcement is made. News 5 will keep you updated.