A Recipe for Successful Latina-Owned Small Businesses


Two Latina entrepreneurs, Amelia Gonzalez and Arcelia Gallardo, have successfully combined, “the legacies of their Mesoamerican ancestors with a passion for Latino culture, arts and business.”
Huffington Post Latino says, “The two friends joined forces to start a unique artisan chocolate shop called Casa de Chocolates. Casa de Chocolates features inventive flavor combinations — dark chocolate paired with chipotle, Oaxacan mezcal, maracuya or passion fruit, chile mango, tamarindo — emblematic of the rich foods and flavors of Latin America.”
Recently established in Berkeley, Calif., Casa de Chocolates has received a positive buzz from Travel & Leisure Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Latina Magazine.
But the quality and quantity of the ingredients aren’t the only thing that have been measured with precision. Berkeley was the perfect nest to expand their growing business, “The socially-conscious Latinas made a commitment to the community and partner with others in the Bay Area who share their vision for sustainable business and community-building. They have also purposely partnered with cocoa farmers in Mexico and Central America to ensure the farmers benefit from the growing market for artisan chocolates in the United States.”
The socially responsible small-business represents a growing trend in the Latino community that is bolstering the American economy, “According to the latest Census Bureau findings, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States increased by 43.7 percent to 2.3 million, more than twice the national rate of 18.0 percent between 2002 and 2007.
“Hispanic-owned businesses generated $345.2 billion in sales in 2007, up 55.5 percent compared with 2002 and the number of Hispanic-owned businesses with receipts of $1 million or more increased 51.6 percent between 2002 and 2007. Those numbers are projected to grow even more exponentially by the next Census. And in a five-year period, businesses owned by women increased to 1.3 million for a total of 7.8 million — a 20 percent increase.”
But, there are more opportunities for Latinos to achieve through the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. It “is hosting a series of small-business-focused symposia across America through the Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) program. The effort aims to bring local entrepreneurs like Gonzalez and Gallardo and other business leaders together to network.”
Casa de Chocolates’ creativity, marketing, quality control, and social responsibility are a recipe for success that can serve as a model for Latino entrepreneurs.