Preston started selling fresh chile through his website when he was 15. With the help of his parents, extended family, and little sister they “bootstrapped” one of the first farm-to-table businesses in the Hatch Valley. We aren’t really sure if he learned through example, or if his entrepreneurial spirit is genetic. His grandparents, Dennis and Patricia Mitchell started the first drug store in Hatch, NM in the early 80’s after members of the community called Dennis (a pharmacist) every Tuesday afternoon asking him to put in a pharmacy. His parents, Greg and Barbara Mitchell, still run the store and continue to improve the business.
Preston met Elaine (the other founder and coincidentally his wife) while studying at New Mexico State University. Elaine is a farm girl from Mesilla, and loves the rich history that New Mexico has to offer. Her great-grandparents (Robert and Nellie Sally Abercrombie) homesteaded in eastern New Mexico, and traveled by covered wagons to make their home in the rugged ranch-land. Her extended family still lives less than a mile from that first homestead. James Buford Harris I (her great-grandpa) traveled with his wife, Maurine, from Blooming Grove, Texas to Mesilla in the early 1930’s to start a mule barn and later started one of the area’s most successful feedlot operations. What used to be their feedlot is now a farming operation run by Elaine’s mother and father. Elaine grew up on this farm in Mesilla helping her parents, Buford and Susie Harris (the farming duo), whenever she could.
Preston and Elaine started The Hatch Chile Store in college because they had a mutual love: Green Chile! They both enjoy working together, and enjoy finding new ways to bring the best of the Hatch Valley for their customers.
The Wholesale Guy:
Meet Sean Harris, the wholesale guy. He’s a fresh face with lots of experience. Sean knows just how important quality is to his customers and always delivers the very best. Sean graduated from New Mexico State University with a degree in Ag Marketing and was on NMSU’s Agriculture Marketing team. See our wholesale page for more info!
If you’ve ever called our business, chances are you talked to Susie. She is our all around New Mexico expert. She’s lived all over the state, and visited almost all of the Land of Enchantment. Yes, this is the selfsame Susie mentioned above. Ask her about life on the farm if you’re homesick for a story set here in God’s Country (what we call NM).