CATALINA, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - In a tiny, single room warehouse on their property, the McBrooms could be considered Arizona’s roasting royalty.
Not comedy, not beef, but chiles; specifically the machines that roast them.
Their three-person operation in Catalina, Arizona Chile Roasters, was recognized with an invitation to the White House’s “Made in America” Product Showcase on Sunday. The display is a Trump administration highlight of American manufacturers, one from each state.
“We make everything by hand here in Tucson,” said Daphne McBroom, company president. “It was one of those situation where we had to stop production to go, but how can you not when it is the White House?”
“It is one of those bucket list things I can finally say I scratched off my bucket list,” said Daphne’s husband, Derryl McBroom, who welds the chile roasters.
The couple received a private tour of the White House kitchens, met several Trump cabinet members, and had their own seats on the White House lawn during the president’s speech on Sunday.
"He asked us all to come up once he was done speaking and I was surprised I got to shake his hand."
Their product is helping roast chiles in all 50 states and more than 10 countries, bringing a taste of the southwest to the world.
“We were educating a lot,” said Daphne. “Educating people on what the contraption is, that it is not a bingo machine. The big question was ‘what do you do after you roast them?’ Well you eat them of course! If you haven’t been here or know about chiles, you have no idea. It was fun.”
Their White House feature earned them a lot more than a trip to D.C.; it also means big publicity.
"We're a small company, and to get to represent the state, when there are huge companies here that are manufacturers, it was quite an honor."
While the publicity might have been free, the trip was not; the McBrooms paid their own way back and forth from D.C.