Posted inBusiness

A new tequila distilled in Mexico has a distinctive Fort Worth flavor

A Fort Worth restaurateur, real estate developer and local club operator are launching a new Tequila brand. 

La Pulga tequila will be bottled and distilled in Jalisco, Mexico. The brand, however, was born in Fort Worth. 

Restaurateur Sarah Castillo, owner of Taco Heads and Tinies Mexican Cuisine, Andrew De La Torre, a club owner and operator of Pequeño Mexico and local real estate developer Stephen Slaughter founded the brand. 

La Pulga translates into “the flea” in Spanish. It’s a nickname for a flea market. De La Torre’s market in Fort Worth struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The two big things that happened at the pulga are shopping, drinking and dancing,” De La Torre said. “So during COVID, those two things were … really threatened.”

He needed to do something about it, he said. So, he called up Castillo. After walking around in the market brainstorming, they landed on an idea: a tequila brand.

Two men and a woman smile at a counter. A neon blue sign spelling "La Pulga" hangs above them. Two tequila bottles sit on the counter.
Andrew De La Torre, Stephen Slaughter and Sarah Castillo stand behind a counter with their tequila, La Pulga. The name of the tequila means “the flea.” The phrase is a nickname for flea markets. (Seth Bodine | Fort Worth Report)

Castillo, who travels to Mexico for business, saw the process of making tequila and other spirits and fell in love with it. In order for a spirit to be considered “tequila,” it must come from the blue agave plant in Mexico. La Pulga will honor the traditional ways of making tequila, Castillo said. It will be made in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, with no additives and 100% Blue Weber Agave. 

“Pure is what I was going for,” she said. “When you taste it, it’s so smooth.”

La Pulga is being sold at 27 stores across Fort Worth and Dallas. The tequila’s two varieties are sold for $44.99 and $54.99 a bottle.

The trio said the Fort Worth community has been very supportive of their venture. La Pulga has more than 70 investors across Texas. 

Along with the tequila brand, Castillo, De La Torre and Slaughter are opening a sotol distillery in Fort Worth. Sotol is a distilled spirit made from a shrub known as the “desert spoon.” They hope to break ground on construction within the next year. 

Ultimately, De La Torre said, the business is about honoring the craft of tequila making — and the pulga. 

“We’re doing it because we love the culture of the industry, and especially the history of the spirit,” De La Torre said. “It’s just capturing the community in a bottle.”

Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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