During Hispanic Heritage Month, taking place September 15 to October 15 in the United States, we’re spotlighting some of the incredible Latino-owned brands in the Faire community. First, we spoke to the entrepreneurs behind three unique food and drink brands. This week, we’re sharing the story of Siete Foods. Siete Foods was founded in Austin, Texas after Veronica Garza’s health challenges inspired her family to adopt a grain-free diet.
We spoke with the Garza family about their mission to build the leading healthy Mexican-American food brand in the US, the challenges they’ve overcome along the way, and how they celebrate their Latino heritage year-round.
One family’s healthy food journey inspires a new brand
Faire: What led to the founding of Siete Foods? Where did the inspiration come from?
Siete: When our sister Veronica (Vero) was diagnosed with several health conditions as a teenager, our brother Rob suggested she adopt a grain-free diet to alleviate her symptoms. Since our family does everything together, we all joined her. We soon realized we couldn’t enjoy many of the foods we grew up eating like flour tortillas and tacos. Vero began experimenting in the kitchen with alternative ingredients and created a delicious almond flour tortilla that eventually became our first Siete product. Even our Grandma Campos—who made the best flour tortillas—liked Vero’s grain-free version, so our brother Miguel encouraged her to share them beyond friends and family. That’s when Siete started, about eight years ago.
Faire: What’s it like running a family-owned business? Do you have any tips for other family-owned businesses out there?
Siete: It was intimidating to enter the food industry and start a business, but doing it as a family made it a lot less intimidating. We did everything together and made sure we built a community of people we could turn to for help and support.
Overcoming challenges and reaping rewards
Faire: When did you know Siete was going to be a successful brand?
Siete: We’re constantly working to reach new heights in our offerings, size, and distribution, so we try to be intentional about celebrating all wins, big and small. However, one of the first moments we felt really hopeful about Siete’s future—aside from getting our Grandma’s stamp of approval on Vero’s tortillas—was when we got our first placement at a local co-op in Austin called Wheatsville. Incredibly, our tortillas sold out quickly, and we’ve been celebrating and honoring that success ever since.
Faire: What’s been the most difficult part of running this business? What’s been the most rewarding part?
Siete: When we entered the food industry, every obstacle and opportunity was new, since we didn’t have a background in food beyond cooking in our family kitchen. We found help almost everywhere we looked, but we didn’t find many Latinx role models or mentors in the industry. Eventually, we realized we’d need to be our own teachers and mentors, which was difficult but has also become one of our greatest opportunities and privileges within the Latinx community and food space.
The most rewarding thing has been working together as a family. One of our company values is family first, family second, and business third. This was inspired by the way our mom, Aida, and her mom, our Grandma Campos, always put family first and second. Now that we’ve grown from the Garza seven to Siete, that value feels like a testament to our family culture.
Celebrating the Latino community and food culture
Faire: What does celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Siete: We always want to find ways to amplify Latinx voices and believe Hispanic Heritage Month is a powerful opportunity to do so. It’s important for Latinx communities and communities of color to see others like themselves doing things in every field and industry, not only during Hispanic Heritage Month, but year-round. This is why we celebrate our culture and the Latinx community all year by sharing stories of those who came before us, highlighting Latinx artists and creators that inspire us, and sharing the foods of our Mexican-American heritage.
Faire: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to fellow Latino entrepreneurs hoping to start their own companies?
Siete: Build a community of people you can trust, turn to them for support and advice, and make sure you ask for help when you need it. Having family and an amazing team by our side throughout this journey has made building this business a lot less daunting. It softens losing and heightens winning when you’re all in it together.
Faire: What kind of impact do you hope your company has on others?
Siete: Our goal has always been to promote inclusivity at the table by using a variety of whole, nourishing ingredients so everyone can have a taste of Mexican-American foods regardless of their dietary restrictions or preferences. Being able to meet different people’s dietary needs and share heritage-inspired foods with others is what matters the most to our family, so we hope that this is the impact we have on others: making sure everyone has something to enjoy at the table.
Visit Siete Foods online and follow them on Instagram.
Shop our Latino-Owned Businesses Collection on Faire.