San Antonio, TX

How This Spicy San Antonio Billionaire Is Reinventing The Alamo City

Rick Martinez

Just make sure to keep the tortilla chips keep coming

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Walking around the Pearl Farmers market one day, a friend pointed to the top floor of the magnificent Hotel Emma and said, "that's where Kit lives."

Truth is, I don't know if that's a fact that "Kit" lives there, but I do know that Christopher "Kit" Goldsbury and his company, Silver Ventures, owns it.

The hotel I mean.

Christopher "Kit" Goldsbury, president and CEO of San Antonio's Silver Ventures, ranks as the wealthiest San Antonio, Texas resident with a net worth of $1.7 billion, Forbes reported. 

In 2021 there were no new San Antonio billionaires, so the list is still at only three. We'll be talking about the other two in separate articles for sure. 

Forbes magazine recently published their list of this year's 2,755 billionaires worldwide, and even though there were 493 new additions to the list, one really stood out. Our very own Kit.

Kit is the Silver Ventures owner who hit the jackpot when he sold salsa maker Pace Foods to Campbell Soup for about $1.1 billion in 1994. Forbes calculated Goldsbury's net worth at $1.7 billion, unchanged from 2020. Nevertheless, his ranking tumbled 566 spots from 1,267 last year to tie for 1,833 this year.

More than likely because there are so many newly made billionaires to report this past year. 

Regardless, "Kit" Goldsbury has been credited with taking the fledgling Pace Picante sauce company from it's infant stages and growing it.

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Goldsbury was born into a family with means. Margaret Barclay Goldsbury, his mother, was from a wealthy family and had was a Queen of San Antonio's Fiesta parade--and if you know San Antonio, you know this is a tremendous honor.

His dad Christopher Sr., was an insurance salesman.

After being kicked out of Menlo College, near San Francisco, Kit returned home to attend Trinity University and earned his political science degree in 1966.

He joined Pace foods in 1969 and worked in the assembly line. Revenues at that time were about $330k annually. Discovering he had an insight into business and sales, he took the company to $2.7 million by 1976.

His life was not without tragedy, though. Kit's father died in a plane crash in 1971 at the San Antonio airport while attempting a landing of his Cessna 310. 

Later, Goldsbury's only son was lost to a drug overdose in 1997.

Despite the tragedies earlier in life, Kit remained focused, and Pace continued to grow. By 1994, Campbell Soup purchased them, which catapulted "Kit" into the wealthiest Americans category.

Goldsbury shared some of the wealth from the sale, giving each employee a month's salary for every year they had worked for the company. 

Here are some "Kit" facts for you to ponder.

  • The fortune "Kit" Goldsbury made comes from selling salsa maker Pace Foods to Campbell Soup for $1.12 billion in 1994. 
  • Kit worked on the assembly line at Pace in 1969, two years after marrying founder David Pace's daughter Linda. He became president in 1977.
  • After Goldsbury and Linda separated in 1987, Goldsbury purchased her half for $95 million, a fraction of what he sold it for seven years later.
  • The San Antonio billionaire is backing the revitalization of the downtown Pearl neighborhood through his private equity firm Silver Ventures. 

The Pearl Brewery is a 22-acre former industrial site that is north of downtown. "The Pearl" is now viewed by locals as San Antonio's leading urbanist destination—as opposed to the touristy downtown—but it wasn't always this way. As of this writing, The Pearl area is one of the most beautiful areas in town. 

I know, because I live there.

References:

>> The history of the Hotel Emma

>> Forbes Magazine article

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I'm a freelance writer and a nurse, exploring the world one beer, donut, and experience at a time. Writing about the travel nurse industry and healthcare, with the occasional emphasis on donuts. #NomNom

San Antonio, TX
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