My name is Veronica Garza, and I am a third-generation Mexican-American from Laredo, Texas. If I had been told as a child that I would help start a Mexican-American food brand with my family, I would never have believed it. A “businesswoman” was not something I thought I’d be—especially not at a business I helped start, nor at a business I run with my family. When I created an almond flour tortilla in my kitchen, I didn’t think I’d end up sharing it with anyone beyond those closest to me, and I didn’t think it’d grow into what it is today, Siete Family Foods.
As a child, I felt like I needed to become a doctor or a lawyer in order to truly feel “successful,” so starting a food business with my family was undeniably daunting. Growing up, creativity wasn’t highlighted as an asset or in a way that made me feel like it could be an avenue for success. I realize now how important it is, especially for Latinx communities and communities of color, to see others like themselves in every field and industry—to see people using their passions and crafts to share their stories, like artists, musicians, chefs, and many others—in addition to the doctors and lawyers!
Since I received my undergraduate Degree in Mexican-American Studies 20 years ago, I’ve been motivated to amplify Latinx voices and the variety of experiences in the Latinx community. I remember how fascinated I was to learn about both the shared experiences and the very different experiences among other Mexican-American and Latinx individuals in my classes. I always thought I might become a lawyer or get into public policy. I ended up teaching at a university for years, and I hoped that the Latinx students I taught would share their talents with the world.
Then, after several health issues necessitated a diet change, I was inspired to share my talents and passion of making heritage-inspired foods for people like myself who have felt left out of their Latinx culture due to dietary restrictions or preferences. I found my own special way to amplify my voice by making food, and thus sharing part of my heritage and my family’s story that’s so important to me. I love that everyday I get to be creative and do what I love to do: make delicious heritage-inspired foods and share with families from all over.
This is why I’m so passionate about highlighting all kinds of Latinx success stories. It’s important that the wide variety of experiences, stories, and talents within the Latinx community are highlighted and shared with the world. Each of us—by telling our stories, doing what we love, and sharing what we love with others—inspire the future. And I am so excited to see what future generations of creatives, artists, lawyers, doctors, and so many others create and put out into the world.
Featured image courtesy of Sunny Roberts.
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