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Reality Rally is rapidly approaching, and none so enthusiastic is Supermarket Superstar and local business owner, Xiomara Hall. Temecula Grapevine had the opportunity to chat with Xiomara and discover what it is that makes her participation in this Michelle’s Place fundraiser special for the Temecula and Murrieta communities.
Q. Hi, Xiomara! thanks for pausing your fundraising to chat with us. I am a huge fan of Supermarket Superstar. What drew you to participate in that reality show?
A. One of my regular customers told me about the opportunity. I was a bit hesitant at first. After the death of my husband in Iraq in 2008, the media frenzy left me feeling a bit exposed in my personal life. I knew that doing a reality show could possibly put me back in that same spotlight. After discussing it with my family–most specifically, my children–we felt the benefits of sharing my culinary love far outweighed any negativity the “reality” world could create.
Q. How did you meet Gillian Larson?
A. I met Gillian at a golf tournament to benefit a local high school baseball team, and everything for Reality Rally spiraled from there.
Q. What is your experience with Michelle’s Place, as an area resident?
A. To be completely honest I did not know about Michelle’s place at first. This why I believe I made the right choice in participating in a reality show. Not only did I win $10-thousand dollars on the show, but I am blessed with an opportunity to help others. All in His plan!
Q. Tell us a little bit about your business.
A. I currently own and operate a small deli in Murrieta called Tropical BBQ. In September 2013, my Jerk BBQ sauce won Supermarket Superstar on Lifetime. My Jerk BBQ sauce is currently made fresh in the deli and served over a variety of meats. The most popular choices are chicken and ribs. We are in the early stages of manufacturing a bottled version of the sauce and expect to have it available to the public via our website within the next few months.
Q. Owning your own business, how do you juggle all — with kids, outreach, and your passion for cooking?
A. Every mother does the same juggle. I take no credit for doing anything I do! My kids are so supportive. When you do what you love it’s not work, right? Finding the balance is an every day journey, but I am blessed to have another day to figure it out.
Q. As a Reality Rally contestant, why should the public choose to support your team?
A. I would love to say “support local” or “I’m in it to win it”, but truth be told it doesn’t matter. As long as we raise funds so that women can get the health screening and care that Michelle’s Place provides. When that happens, we all win!
Q. What drew you to Temecula?
A. I moved to Temecula in 2006 when my husband was transferred to USMC base Camp PENDLETON. I chose Temecula because of the family environment and school system. It was also one of the more affordable cities in terms of housing.
Q. As a Temecula/Murrieta native, how does your experience with the area give you an “edge” over the competition?
A. The main edge I have over the competition is that I believe this community loves to support its own. After my husband passed, the support of this community was amazing! My daughter’s daycare had a fundraiser to help with day care costs, TYB held a fundraiser at Pat & Oscars to help our family, and even set up a scholarship fund in my husband’s name so that underprivileged kids could play in the league. Also, total strangers would leave flowers at my door, with a card saying thank you for my husband’s service. That’s the kind of community I am proud to be a part of and represent.
Q. Have you ever gone to the Reality Rally event?
A. Last year I was not able to participate as a reality star because the show had not aired yet. Tropical BBQ however did provide food and in kind donations to the event. We gave over 400 samples of pulled pork and jerk chicken sandwiches to stars and guests at Wilson Creek Winery. We plan to do the same again this year.
Q. You recently held a fundraiser at Aces Comedy Club. How has it been to partner with other area businesses to raise funds toward your team?
A. I honestly believe that businesses in this town are becoming creative in providing the residents with variety. I have witnessed the growth of Temecula/Murrieta in the few years, I have been here, both large chains and small businesses. I’m not only a business woman here I am also a consumer. Working with other businesses in our community allows me to support not only the local businesses but the families they support. It takes a village.
Q. If there was one thing you’d want others to know about you, what would it be?
A. Loaded question! I had a college professor once tell me “don’t do anything you wouldn’t want seen on the 6 o’clock news.” For the most part I have tried to live by that. I come from a humble hard working family. I put myself through college and am raising my family. Sometimes my drive may be perceived as “cold,” but in fact I am a very sentimental person. Tragedies and struggles in my life have left me a bit guarded, but if you take the time to get past my “professional” exterior you will find a person who is trying her best to live life to its fullest.