I often stumble upon articles listing out the year’s most successful or powerful women. Every time I see the portraits of these women I smile to myself and imagine how, if I was ever honored with one of the awards, they would be able to fit all 55 glamour shots of our employees in the photo —with windblown hair and all, of course.
My success story is not my own. My personal experience in business has been much more aligned with the phrase “it takes a village” —or, rather, it takes one big, loving, hardworking family.
Growing up in a family of seven, we did everything together. Whether it was carne asadas or family workouts in our backyard, decorating the Christmas tree for our favorite holiday, or hopping in the Ford Bronco for a family road trip. After I was diagnosed with several autoimmune conditions, it was my family who helped me find hope.
After years of battling a progressive and sometimes isolating disorder, my entire family joined me on my health journey and we adopted a grain-free diet together. Their love and support encouraged me to be inventive in the kitchen, to make grain-free products that taste good and I felt good eating.
So, years later, when my family and I sat down to create the values for Siete Family Foods, we wrote down all the things we believe in: family, doing everything with love, and doing things together. It was in that gathering that we put into words the value we had practiced our whole lives, but never vocalized, “Juntos es Mejor,” or “together is better.” It was my grandma, with her hospitable and inviting nature, who instilled the importance of togetherness into our family. My most fulfilling moments are those that I’ve shared with others. And, because togetherness means so much to us, we hope that our foods inspire others to gather in the company of friends, family or strangers.
Family means more than relatives and the people we grew up with. Over the last five years, our Siete family has multiplied beyond the seven family members we grew up with. We always knew we wanted to bring different people with different ideas, opinions, backgrounds, and skills into the Siete family. Each of these attributes are valuable and help contribute to our playful and diverse company culture. When we continuously strive to be inclusive, we have more victories to celebrate, struggles to empathize with, and opportunities to challenge ourselves. Not to be cliche, but I earnestly believe that Siete would not be what it is today without each individual who is a part of this family.
Thanks to this family, we’ve created a community that has played a significant role in my personal and ongoing journey to wellness. I’ve been empowered to embrace an alternative diet without feeling distant from my culture. People from all over have shared their stories with me and created a network of extended family through our mutual love for clean, flavorful food.
Juntos es Mejor means getting to work alongside family and friends. It’s enabled me to thrive and achieve success in my life, and share it with others.