Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the contributions of Hispanics and pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.
According to research from QuickBooks, up to 4 million Latinos in the U.S. are considering starting a business this year. Additionally, a new QuickBooks report found that support of family and community is central to Latino-owned businesses with 95% of Latino business owners giving credit to their family for their career success. Even more (96%) said they would offer financial support to people in their family when they’re able to, and 83% said they will offer financial support to people in their community.
Today we are celebrating the flavors of Latin America and shining a spotlight on some Hispanic-owned food businesses. These small businesses are bringing the diverse foods of Latin America to tables across the country, spreading Hispanic culture, and doing good in their communities. Check them out below!
Formosa Hot Sauce Company: Formosa is a California-based hot sauce company is owned and run by Julio Lopez Velasquez. Based on a family recipe that originated over 30 years ago in a small town in Mexico, Formosa Hot Sauce Company prides themselves on making a product that is not only made with natural ingredients, but that is also very versatile. The founder and CEO, Julio Velasquez, started his company after many years of not doing what he loved, and like many Latino small business owners, he decided to dream big and take a huge leap of faith regardless of all the challenges Latino entrepreneurs face. But more than a small business owner, Julio gives back to the community by mentoring other Latinos who are looking to start a small business and joining organizations that support the Latino community.
Bettersweet Vegan Bakery: Vegan edible Art! That’s what Bettersweet Vegan Bakery is about. Idira Cristin founded Bettersweet Vegan Bakery in 2015 after she moved from Venezuela to the U.S. to study finance. When she realized her studies didn’t align with her passions, she taught herself how to bake. Bettersweet Vegan Bakery was created to ensure that everyone could enjoy a sweet treat – no matter their dietary restrictions. As a virtual brand, Idira doesn’t have a physical storefront and instead relies solely on Facebook and Instagram to grow her customer base and make sales. During the pandemic, she began using personalized ads on both platforms to better target her audience, she’s grown her business by 20%.
Her mission is to promote inclusion and provide options to everyone who has food allergies, special diets, practices religions with food restrictions, or just has respect for animals and until now haven’t been able to enjoy a nice cake to create special memories.
Amazonica: Amazonica is a Colombian-inspired restaurant with two locations in Miami. This Hispanic food business serves sweet treats, baked goods, and coffee, but the real attraction is their flagship product––the Cholado, a shaved ice puree served with fresh fruit toppings. Amazonica was founded in 2018 by a 24-year-old owner named Ammiel Manevich, a Colombian native who saw this gap in the market for this product. He wanted to put his own twist on a popular Colombian street food item and bridge the American Latino and immigrant Latino experience into one. The result was Amazonica’s colorful Cholado. They reach their customers by advertising solely on Facebook and Instagram to broaden their audience and draw foot traffic into their brick-and-mortar locations. Before the pandemic, Amazonica accumulated 11,000 followers over a six month period through Instagram and Facebook.
As their name suggests, Amazonica is committed to helping the Amazon and taking care of the environment. “We carry the AMAZONAS in our name and we believe in the importance of doing everything possible to take care of the environment. From composting with our waste, packaging with the least environmental impact to the Amazon Forest in the Colombian Amazon, we always look for the opportunity to improve.”
Gaspachos: This Hispanic-owned food business is located in Sacramento and is bringing the flavors of Mexican fruit cups and desserts to their community. Gaspachos is a family-owned maker of authentic, Mexican-inspired specialty fruit cups, juices, desserts, spices, and catering services. All of the company’s signature items are inspired by the mercado, and Mexican stands you can find in every part of the country. The founder and CEO, Julio Ortiz started at local farmers’ markets around the Sacramento area and has since grown to several successful brick-and-mortar locations.
Siempre Soups: Based in Chicago, Siempre Soups was started with the idea of bringing soup back to its roots – the original health food – veggie & broth based, always fresh and absolutely no preservatives. Seeking a healthy grab and go meal option, owner Alison Velazquez, decided to create a line of fresh plant-based soups that, when combined could offer not only detoxifying benefits but also be nourishing and delicious. With an idea and goal in mind, Alison started making and selling her soups from her kitchen. Today, Siempre Soups is available nationwide.
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