Richard Montañez is the mastermind behind the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos you are probably eating right now. Well, pretty soon you will finally get to see his story told on the big screen thanks to Fox Searchlight. The production company won the rights to “Flamin’ Hot” after a very competitive bidding war, according to Variety. Here’s a little bit of his story you can expect to see in the upcoming film.
If you’re Latino, you probably have a borderline, unhealthy addiction with these…
But you probably don’t know you owe your obsession to former janitor, Richard Montañez.
Credit: Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images
Yep, this man who worked at the Frito-Lay plant in Rancho Cucamonga mopping floors, picking up trash, spending tireless hours cleaning that would go on to become the inventor of your favorite Cheetos and the company’s top-selling product.
He says it started with this…
“I see the corn man adding butter, cheese and chile to the corn and thought what if I add chile to a Cheeto?”
Richard ran to his mom’s kitchen and started mixing a bunch of chiles.
Until he created the perfect blend of spices.
He called the president and set up an executive presentation. No pressure, right?
In two weeks, this man who worked as a janitor for four years, with broken English and no high school diploma, put together an entire presentation by copying a marketing strategy from a library book.
Needless to say, execs LOVED the idea. Fast-forward a few sales later and his product has become Frito-Lay’s top selling snack.
What gave him the courage to pitch his idea to a team of executives?
Credit: Luis Hernández
Growing up, he said his dream was to drive a trash truck because he didn’t know what was on the other side of the tracks. Still, he believed because…
Credit: Luis Hernández
He never believed where he started would be a limitation.
Growing up, he lived in this small wine community in southern California that he described it to mitú as a labor camp.
Today, Richard leads Multicultural Sales & Community Promotions across PepsiCo in North America, but he doesn’t forget where he came from.
He is part of Kits for Kids and Feed the Children, donating food, school supplies, clothing and scholarships to help students become boss leaders like he is today and if that weren’t enough, he and his family started OneLite. “We feed hundreds of thousands of people every year and we buy about 50k new shoes for kids plus so much more and I fund it all out of our pockets,” he told mitú.
Richard, thank you for bringing so much happiness into our lives. You’re our hero.
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