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We, Siete, are a Mexican-American food company that lives—what we call—“the hyphen.” The hyphen is a foundational, symbolic way of describing our culture as not being totally one thing or the other. In other words: it’s the blend of our authentic experience of both cultures, Mexican and American, into a unique identity that we identify with more than either culture on its own. Think: tacos and pizza, telenovelas and Friends, Laredo and Austin.
Our hyphen, grounded in the Garza family’s experience of their Mexican-American culture, is a north star to our company culture, family values, products, and mission. It reminds us of where we came from, informs how we give back, and how we grow.
For example, our mom, Aida, says her experience of her Mexican-American hyphen sounds like speaking english at school with peers, and listening to her parents speak spanish to each other at home. Our eldest brother, Rob, says it sounds like "growing up listening to country music while being surrounded by tejanos and cumbias...my sister in a high school mariachi band...[and, these days] the Black Pumas." Miguel, thinks it tastes like potato chips drenched in lime and hot sauce. To Veronica, it tastes like "barbacoa tacos from Cotulla's restaurant on a Sunday morning." Our sister Becky explains that her experience of the hyphen smells like backyard carne asadas, while Linda says it looks like “the beautiful pewter statue of La Virgen in my home that my Grandma Alicia brought to me from Mexico about 20 years ago.” It’s our unique but collective celebration of our Mexican-American heritage, cultures, experiences, and traditions that make us who we are as a familia.
Over the last seven years of Siete, many of the Garza family traditions have become our Siete family traditions, like carne asadas under papel picado and starry summer nights; the practice of gathering together over delicious food for any reason at all, as we do on Friday Lunches; and believing in and embracing togetherness as a way of life—Juntos es Mejor.
Still, no one explains the hyphen better than the Garzas. Take this video of of Mike, for example:
We wholeheartedly embrace our hyphen because it allows us to express our true and unique authenticity. We’re grateful for the way that it continually builds our amazing community, fosters a sense of family near and far, and results in a Juntos es Mejor philosophy.
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more stories of the Garza’s experiences of their Mexican-American hyphen, in hopes of inspiring you to share your own stories around the table.