It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! September 15 to October 15 is a time to honor the history and contributions of Hispanic cultures to American business. While this is a great time to celebrate the significance, we recommend supporting Latino-owned brands all year long—just as we do with LGBTQ-, POC-, and AAPI-owned businesses.
Observation of Hispanic heritage started as a week-long celebration in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was later extended to a month-long celebration by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. September 15 is the independence anniversary for Latin American countries El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The independence days of Mexico and Chile fall on September 16 and 18, while Dia de la Raza or Columbus Day also falls within this heritage month, on October 12.
Hispanic Americans have been an integral part of the U.S., economically and culturally. Their impact and contributions are immeasurable, and they embody the best of American values. Below are three Hispanic-owned businesses to support this month and beyond.
Cerveza Zólupez Beer Company
Founded in 2017, Cerveza Zólupez Beer Company is a Latino-owned U.S. craft brewery specializing in Mexican-Style artisanal beer. Founder Javier Chávez, Jr. is the proud son of hard-working Mexican immigrants. A lawyer turned professional brewer, Chávez founded Cerveza Zólupez Beer Company to share the diverse history of his culture. Zólupez is certified by the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).
“Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate our colorful history and culture, and our family-owned business honors our heritage through our products. We will be sponsoring several Hispanic Heritage festivals as well as donating to various community groups and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.” – Javier Chávez, Jr., Founder & Brewer
As a Premium and RangeMe Verified™ member, they have been able to promote and raise awareness of new products and reach out to buyers directly. They have secured opportunities from retail buyers looking for diverse products and are proud to have had many wins within their journey thus far. “We have been able to successfully market and grow our diverse product offerings, crossing over to both the Hispanic communities and the larger mainstream multi-ethnic communities,” describes Chávez.
Julissa Prado struggled to find the right products for her hair growing up, considering the lack of curly hair care products and the stigma against curly hair, which didn’t fit in with western beauty standards. After struggling with the lack of representation for her hair type, Prado created Rizos Curls, a Latina-owned hair care brand that celebrates the beauty of curls, coils, and waves! All products are cruelty-free and made with high-quality, clean, and natural ingredients with no harsh chemicals, silicone, sulfates, or parabens.
Rizos Curls has a brand mission focused around 3 C’s – Curls, Community & Culture – Rizos meaning curls in Spanish. “My goal with Rizos Curls is to help propel a shift toward a more diverse understanding of what it means to be beautiful,” explains Prado. One way Rizos Curls celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month is by awarding several scholarships to college students. During the 2022 New York Fashion Week, they were featured with designer Angelo Baque in “La Bodega Baque,” an activation celebrating the start of this heritage month. They also have a content collaboration launching with celebrity hairstylist César DeLeön Ramîrez that showcases beauty representation and provides tools for hair education. Rizos Curls runs several initiatives with their retail partners, including celebratory end caps at Target and Ulta Beauty locations.
Prado’s hardest challenge as a Hispanic entrepreneur has been convincing retailers to take a chance on her brand. “I have faced the stereotype that Latinos are not interested in quality and are just driven by price. I’ve been in meetings with large retail buyers who’ve said Hispanics don’t care about natural ingredients and are just price sensitive and care about coupons.” Since then, Prado has fought to establish partnerships with those invested in supporting inclusivity and has gotten Rizos Curls certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). “Certifications are important when selling to retailers because it allows them to tap into certain key diversity-related initiatives, benefits, and promotions for certified brands,” explains Prado.
“RangeMe is great because it facilitates conversations between buyers and brands in a way that feels informal and rather welcoming and where true conversations can take place. It’s great to have that dialogue to explore whether it is the right match between a retailer and a brand. It’s great that there are platforms like RangeMe in which those preliminary conversations can take place outside of typical line review meetings.” – Julissa Prado, Founder & CEO
Daniel Caballero and his brother Antonio found themselves craving the Cuban, Panamanian, and various Latin American flavors they grew up with. Yet, neither of them had the time to prepare meals from scratch, and nothing store-bought could come close to the flavor or quality of a homemade meal. Thus, the two got to work creating traditional foods from their childhood to fit with a modern lifestyle through convenient packaging. In 2016, they officially launched Fillo’s along with their first line of Latin American pouch sofrito beans. The company has since grown to over 4,000 points of distribution and is the pouch bean category leader, measured in velocity. Fillo’s is now announcing the release of their newest innovation, Walking Tamales!
“Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for us to reflect on the varied paths our immediate and extended family and friends have taken and how those voices add to the Hispanic experience. We celebrate it the same way we celebrate every month, by regularly getting together as a family.” – Daniel Caballero, Co-Founder and President
Fillo’s has received enthusiastic feedback from shoppers who also grew up with sofrito beans and tamales. “They quickly realize we didn’t cut any corners and strive to bring the traditional foods from childhood to market, but in a way that fits a modern lifestyle,” explains Daniel Caballero. As a Hispanic-owned brand, they have faced the obstacle of affirming retailers that just because the product line consists of the food from their childhood, that does not mean it strictly has to be placed in the international or Hispanic section. Their products can be categorized under grab and go, shelf-stable, or the canned bean section. “Considering that our product line is also non-GMO Project Verified, clean label, and vegan, this helps with placement opportunities and communicating this has become easier over the years,” concludes Daniel.
As a certified minority-owned, operated, and funded business, Fillo’s enjoys working with and supporting suppliers and producers who are also minority-owned, operated, and funded. They find RangeMe helpful when it comes to connecting with retailers and regularly submit to category reviews across many categories and channels.
Diversity makes the world go round
Nearly 61 million Hispanic people live in the U.S and Latinx-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment of U.S. small businesses. There is no arguing that minority-owned businesses are detrimental to the nation’s economic health and social diversity. Here are some stats and opportunities to explore:
Author of Infographic: Lisa Goller