Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cupcaking with Top Chef Finalist Danielle Keene

Sometimes I step away from my comfort zone, away from the grill, and try new things. Recently, celebrity Top Chef Finalist and pastry master Danielle Keene and I participated together in a Red Cross Fundraiser in Pasadena, and she agreed to teach me how to make perfect cupcakes. I am bound by an honors confidentiality agreement, not to reveal the secrets here, but let's just say that, like all things related to the kitchen, it is easier to understand how to make a recipe than to actually make it.
I love her style and her approach to the kitchen. Some of her "tricks" are actually based in a very scientific way of thinking, and since pastry making is equal parts chemistry, magic and love, I really enjoyed watching her whip out her cupcakes. I tried my hand at some, and decided that I'll be buying my cupcakes at her new store, Bittersweet Treats, in Pasadena  http://www.bittersweettreats.com/.

Danielle Keene is a master, super fun and really sweet (pun intended).
Next time we see each other I will be teaching her all the secrets of pickled products, and she will be tasting our Machaca and our Authentic Mexican Salsas.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Inspiring Juvenal Chavez

Juvenal Chavez, CEO of Mi Pueblo Food Center chats with Andres Jaramillo, CEO of Don Pedro's Meat.

The story of Juvenal Chavez is one of those inspiring stories of immigrants working hard and following a dream to make it big in the U.S.
He immigrated to the U.S. with his wife in the 80's, from Mexico and by 1991 he had opened his own small business. 21 years later, his business, Mi Pueblo Food Center is a growing chain with 21 stores, and over 3,000 happy and enthusiastic employees.
Even though he didn't tell us the exact number, he does hundreds of millions of dollars in business, selling the most authentic hispanic products to a very grateful and loyal clientele.
His competitive advantage is the feeling of home and the experience of joy and community he gives his customers when they buy food at his stores. He conveys that through his employees. We got a chance to meet hundreds of them last week, and I was struck by how happy, smiling and beautiful most of them are. They are proud to belong to such a company, and are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their products and their vendors.
Juvenal really knows his products, and he told us how much he loves our cecina seca, which he started buying from us and selling to his customers over 10 years ago. For him it is a staple at his meat counters, that shows his commitment to very authentic products of high quality.
At Mi Pueblo stores you can also buy Salvadorean Chorizo Don Pedro's, and at their "cremerias" they sell Rellena Don Pedro's.
He is a big supporter of education, an inspiring business leader and a great community leader in San Jose, CA.
We love doing business with Juvenal and his team of winners.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Azusa Pacific University does a case study on Don Pedro's

Professor B. Strother's International Business Class at APU did a case study about our company, on how to take our products and brand to six international markets. At the beginning of the semester they invited me to talk to their class about our company, our business philosophy, our products, entrepreneurship and the market for hispanic foods in the U.S. Last week they invited me again to listen to their presentations and their ideas about how to take our company and our products to other countries. I walked out of that class with six marketing plans choke-full of great ideas and an irrespressible optimism for the new generation of talent coming up. I really can't wait to see this generation become the new consumer and the new working force. They are technologically savvy, they are smart consumers, they are informed, creative, and deep down a really happy generation. They are very adventurous when it comes to trying new things, new ideas, and most importantly, new flavors!
In this picture Jillian Joyce, Elisa Morales and Danielle Trubac's team were proposing expanding with a fleet of food trucks in Australia.

As a culinary entrepreneur, one thing that keeps me up at night is not only how am I going to keep up with this generation's expansion of tastes but at the same time how am I going to stay technologically connected with them. Culinary innovation is a really fun part of my job, and it is hard work. Now add to that the need to innovate also how we do business with our young customers, and you have a really interesting entrepreneur's challenge. Talking to these students is like drinking from a hydrant. Maybe the simple solution is to just hire a bunch of them, and let them do their thing.....

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sopes and Huaraches

We are very proud this week about the launch of our new line of Sopes and Huaraches. They are delicious and Connie and Diana are already working on awesome recipes that several magazines have asked us to submit. If you have any ideas, please, please, please, send them to us.
Several Chefs in America, like Rick Bayless, and in Mexico use huaraches to put chorizo on top and make a delicious dish. If you prefer to make your own huaraches, here is a good recipe: http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/view?recipeID=115. But of course if you want something as good as home-made, without going through all that trouble, just ask your local gourmet store to supply you with our huaraches and sopes.