Meet the family who changed the way some Americans eat Mexican food


South of downtown Austin, nestled between warehouses and trendy clothing stores, is Siete Foods, one of the nation’s fastest growing food and beverage companies.

The multi-million dollar company is behind some of the most innovative grain-free products on the market.

Co-founder and CEO Miguel Garza said the inspiration behind Siete came after noticing a lack of Mexican-American representation in stores.

“We haven’t seen a brand that speaks to us as a Mexican-American family, doing what Chobani did in yogurt or what Oatly does in alternative milk. We really feel this great responsibility to share in the beauty of the culture we grew up living, ”Miguel told CBS News’s Mireya Villarreal.

The brand was also born out of necessity after co-founder and president – and Miguel’s big sister – Veronica Garza started having health issues.

“I face multiple autoimmune issues. One of those conditions is lupus. My older brother, Bob, had suggested a different type of diet that could potentially alleviate a lot of the symptoms and the pain. inflammation, ”Veronica said. “My whole family started eating this new way with me. We were basically on a paleo diet and eliminating grains. At this point, we couldn’t eat a lot of the foods that we had grown up eating and loving.”

“Like what?” Villarreal asked.

“Like tortillas,” replied Veronica.

Health wise, the family was feeling better, but cutting out gluten made them feel like they had lost something much bigger as well.

“Tortillas are the centerpiece of the table. You go to any restaurant and it’s fries and salsa, guacamole. These foods that add to the beautiful Mexican culture, they weren’t on the menu anymore. us, ”Miguel said.

“We kind of felt like we were turning our backs on our culture, not being able to participate in this important part,” added Veronica.

“And then that’s when we are in a carne asada and my sister shows up with almond flour tortillas,” recalls Miguel.

Veronica quietly began to experiment with new ingredients and found customers for her product near the family home in Laredo, Texas.

“I had a full-time teaching job and on the weekends my mom would go into the kitchen with me, and we would just squeeze by hand, like a ton of tortillas,” Veronica said with a laugh. The family left their daily work and headed straight for the kitchen.

The word siete means seven in Spanish and represents the seven members of the Garza family who started this business over ten years ago. The family left their daily work and headed straight for the kitchen.

“I started like, ‘Oh man, you know, this product could actually be sold in stores. And if people buy it from you on the weekends, they could buy it in a few stores in the city. ‘natural foods like,’ “Miguel mentioned.

Today, the company offers more than 40 gluten-free products sold in more than 15,000 stores nationwide.

“I’m really, really proud. It’s even hard for me to talk about it because I cry all the time. When I see our tortillas in the stores, it still makes me cry,” Miguel’s mother said and Veronica.

For the family business Garza, the reward is discovering the impact they have on families like theirs.

“That ‘You changed my life with that tortilla’ and I’m like ‘Really? Like, with a tortilla? You’re exaggerating’, and then you would hear it over and over again. Be like, okay, maybe that … Sorry, I’m getting a little emotional but… yeah, maybe it’s possible, ”Veronica said.

“It feels good to know that, you know, we can do something that affects people’s lives in a positive way and you know we are doing it as a family,” said Miguel.

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