Our story begins in the early 1900s when Henry Steinbarth left his Bavarian homeland to seek a new life in the United States. Settling in Chicago, he faced numerous challenges as a young immigrant but persevered. In 1924, he established a meat market on the city’s southwest side, aiming to create products that reflected the quality and flavor of his European heritage, specializing in baked goods and hand-crafted sausages.
As Chicago’s population diversified with immigrants from Latin America, Henry recognized an opportunity to cater to new customers. He crafted a Mexican sausage recipe known as Chorizo, earning a reputation as “La Preferida,” meaning “The Preferred,” within the Mexican community. Henry’s sons, Ralph and Billy, joined the business, selling Chorizo and other products from the family car. Alongside lifelong friend Frank O’Grady, they transformed the family store into a thriving food company.
The Birth of La Preferida
In 1949, the La Preferida brand was officially introduced to the market. Building on Henry’s vision, the three young entrepreneurs expanded their offerings. Today, La Preferida offers over 250 products, including canned beans, rice, hominy, olive oil, seasonings, salsas, refried beans, peppers, and more. Generations of consumers trust La Preferida as a symbol of quality and flavor.
Continuing the Tradition
Now in its fourth generation, our family remains committed to superior quality and flavor. Our mission is to deliver an authentic food experience in every product, just as Henry Alphonse Steinbarth envisioned 75 years ago. Join us on our journey as we continue to craft exceptional foods that stand the test of time.
Experience the taste of tradition!
Honing in on the growing needs of Chicago’s diverse community, our family opens a storefront, offering a variety of meats, cheeses, and baked goods. With an influx of Mexican and Latin American immigrants making Chicago their new home, our storefront evolved to better serve the new Hispanic community.
By the late 1940s, our storefront had become a business. In 1949, we introduce Chicago to its first packaged chorizo with a new company — La Preferida. Located in Chicago’s historic South Water Market, La Preferida was able to service supermarkets throughout the city.
By 1969, La Preferida had expanded from producing chorizo to producing a variety of authentic Mexican ingredients like beans, peppers, and salsa.
The 1980s saw La Preferida’s break into television, with our first commercial featuring Chicago local talent — Mr. Harry Caray. (HOLY COW!)
As consumers became more health-conscious and demand for organic food increased, we introduced a new line of organic products, featuring some of La Preferida’s best selling items. Since 2009, our organic line has continued to grow into a wide selection of authentic Mexican ingredients.
Find a Store & Get Cooking
Our products are carried by major grocery stores, retailers and independent grocers at thousands of locations throughout the country. Use our Store Locator to find authentic Mexican ingredients near you!