A significant part of our mission at Siete is to positively impact the lives of underserved communities through entrepreneurship. With both that goal (and our core belief that Juntos es Mejor, or “together is better”) in mind, we created the Siete Juntos Fund! We know that there are many, many passionate entrepreneurs and exceptional small businesses across the country that are making an impact in their communities and honoring their Latinx heritage through their crafts—like last year’s Juntos Fund Recipient, CocoAndre Chocolatier Y Horchatería.
CocoAndre is a family-owned specialty shop based in Dallas, TX, that serves hand-crafted delicious chocolates and other tasty treats filled with traditional Mexican flavors (and a whole lot of love!). We are so inspired by their story and love of family, which is why we were even more delighted to present our very first Juntos Fund award to them in September 2021! Almost a year later, we asked the mother-daughter team of Andrea & Cindy Pedraza how the Juntos Fund has impacted their business, and here’s what Cindy had to say:
“We used most of our winnings to add more space to our store! We built out our attic for storage which will allow us to bring folks back into the shop. With more space, we can buy bigger equipment and in return have more production. We also hope to hire two more folks next month, and we plan to have our seating room back open by August after repainting our shop!”
We are beyond grateful to call the team at CocoAndre our friends, and we’ve so enjoyed watching them continue to honor their heritage and culture by showcasing the richness of Mexican ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon, and mezcal in the gourmet chocolate scene. We even had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with them in our Siete x CocoAndre Small Batch last December, which featured our Mexican Cookies in their scrumptious Hot Chocolate Bombs!
Beyond their mastery of chocolate, we were drawn to CocoAndre’s commitment to family and community, as well as their mission to change narratives and empower others. They share our values and showcase them in their business, craft, and everything that they make! This is why it means the world to us that a year later, Cindy shared what her experience was like throughout the Juntos Fund process. Cindy expressed,
“Our experience with the Siete family has been nothing more than inspirational and motivational. Our partnership turned into more than just winnings. From filming our shop (priceless), sharing our brand on their platforms, and sharing our products nationwide, every time we worked with the Siete family we were blown away and shown what we want to be for others more clearly.”
It’s our hope to help create and continue positive change for CocoAndre and all of the Juntos Fund Recipients to come. We look forward to hearing intimate stories from incredible individuals who are living and breathing love, perseverance, culture, and passion into their businesses. If you own a taco shop or business, we’d really love to hear your story. There’s still time to apply! Our Juntos Fund application deadline is August 9th, 2022. And if you don’t own a taco business, send this opportunity to someone who does! Your referral can make a difference. Take it from Cindy at CocoAndre,
“I was forwarded this opportunity by a few of our customers, and I am grateful to them. My advice would be: Just apply. If you believe in your business, do it. Fifteen minutes can turn into a bigger opportunity that’s more than just funding.”
Because when one of us succeeds, we all succeed.