Eva Longoria Joins Siete Foods To Build A Billion Dollar Brand

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When Siete Foods co-founder Veronica Garza first met Hollywood star Eva Longoria it wasn’t about business – it was about cheerleading.

“Before I knew her as Eva Longoria, I met her briefly as just Eva,” Veronica said. Longoria grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, not far from the Garza family in Laredo, Texas. She taught a cheer camp that Veronica was attending. Garza continues, “It felt like she was a true cheerleader and supporter of this young group of Latinas living on the [US] border. That really made an impression on me.”

Veronica Garza is now the Co-Founder, President and Chief Innovation Officer of the $500 million food brand Siete Foods. And nearly three decades later, Longoria is joining Siete Foods as an investor and strategic advisor. The goal? In Longoria’s words, “to build a billion-dollar food empire that celebrates our culture and that is made by Mexican-Americans with a desire to make Mexican-American foods more available.” As Veronica states, “we have a shared passion to uplift the Latino community.”

Longoria is well-known for her acting role on the hit T.V. show Desperate Housewives; in addition to acting she is a director, producer, philanthropist and activist. Siete Foods is best known for their gluten-free tortillas, chips, and cookies rooted in heritage-inspired Mexican-American flavors. Founded by a family of seven a decade ago, the company will hit $500 million in retail sales this year, with 85 SKUS spanning 37,000 stores.

For Longoria, the opportunity was clear. Siete Foods is the fastest growing Hispanic food company in the United States and the second largest private, independently-owned snack brand in the US. If U.S. Latinos were a country, they would represent the fifth largest GDP in the world and Latinos are the fastest growing consumer segment in the country, approaching $2.5 trillion in buying power.

The Garzas and Longoria had crossed paths over the years, and Longoria describes herself as an ‘organic’ customer of the brand. When they began to explore a collaboration, Longoria thought, “I would love to help build this food empire that celebrates our heritage, culturally inspired foods, and really shines a light on Latinos.”

The partnership is rooted in the ‘multi-hyphenate’ connection of Mexican Americans who share a common border culture and are coming together to amplify their community. Miguel Garza, CEO and Co-Founder of Siete Foods, shares, “As her career has grown and she’s gone from acting on Desperate Housewives to directing Flamin’ Hot, we have watched her break glass ceilings and amplify Latino voices so that more Latinos could climb the ladder of success.”

Joining Siete Foods is a natural extension of Longoria’s work in business and in philanthropy. She has started and invested in multiple companies, including Casa Del Sol tequila. In 2012 she founded the Eva Longoria Foundation to help Latinas build better futures for themselves and their families through education and entrepreneurship. She recently received the prestigious Courage & Civility Award from Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sánchez which includes a $50 million unrestricted prize for her work to invest in and empower Latinas and to create a more inclusive society. Giving back is a core value for Siete, which led to the creation of The Juntos Fund. The company committed $2 million over five years to support Latino-owned businesses and empower entrepreneurship in Latino communities.

“It really stems from my desire to support Latino entrepreneurship and Latino businesses because I feel like small businesses get a fraction of venture capital or private equity,” Longoria said.

The Garzas have high hopes as Longoria joins their ‘familia’; she recently attended her first board meeting with the company, and she will amplify the brand to her tens of millions of social media followers. Miguel Garza shares, “She is not just a cheerleader. She is an entrepreneur and businesswoman who is very sharp in how she views business and the market. If I sum it up in a sentence, she has become a part of the family. And everybody in my family works in the business, and everybody adds value. And that’s what Eva is already doing.”

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