Alaska-made salsa, beer featured in movie

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2008

ANCHORAGE Alaskan-made salsa and beer will be featured in an upcoming romantic comedy film about a pushy boss who forces her young male assistant to marry her to avoid being deported to Canada.

"The Proposal," starring Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds and Betty White, will include a scene in a Sitka store, where Alaskan Heat salsa made by Anchorage entrepreneur Rose Garcia is for sale, plus a wedding scene with plenty of brew from the Alaska Brewing Co. in Juneau.

Production on the film is set to begin soon in Boston. "The Proposal" is scheduled for release in September 2009. While Alaskan Heat salsa's Rosa Garcia and Alaska Brewing's Marcy Larson would have preferred the filming to be in Alaska, both said they were pleased that the production company solicited their products for the movie.

Garcia said when a message was left on her phone Feb. 14, she thought at first it was a scam.

"You never know," she said. Still, her caller ID indicated the caller was with Walt Disney Touchtone Pictures, so she called the phone number in Boston and found out they wanted to use her salsa in the movie.

"They wanted Alaska-made products and they liked the packaging," said Garcia, whose colorful salsa jar labels feature her signature Paco the red moose "who experienced the real Alaskan Heat."

Paco has proven such a popular logo that Garcia has produced small stuffed Pacos to include in Alaskan Heat gift buckets.

Chris Sullivan, design department coordinator for the movie production crew, told Garcia he found her salsa while doing an Internet search for Alaska products to include in the Sitka store scene.

He said he loved the packaging, but was also curious about how it actually tastes, so Garcia offered to send some for the movie set and more for the crew to enjoy during filming.

Marcy Larson of Alaska Brewing was equally pleased with having the company's brew sought out, although it's nothing new for that firm.

The Juneau brewery's products have been included in scenes from five films: "Snow Dogs," "Limbo," "Mystery, Alaska," "Leaving Normal" and "The Big White." The most notorious, however, was the popular "Northern Exposure" television series, Larson said.

"We love having our product displayed in Alaska settings," Larson said. "We much prefer it when we represent Alaska in Alaska, but barring that, we like that they are using Alaska products" (in the film).

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