American Latino Magazine May 2013 - Page 33

without chemicals. We used modern science and the love of the earth that we inherited from my grandfather, and we proved that not only could we grow agave organically, but that we could grow a superior product. To give you an example, in a good agave harvest in Jalisco, the average weight of a piña (a harvested agave) is about 80 lbs. Our record-setting piña weighed in at 304 lbs! The weight does not necessarily determine the quality of the agave, but the sugar content is a good indicator. Again, in a good harvest, the average sugar content (measured in Brix units) is about 20 to 24 Brix units. We are now averaging 44 Brix units. This, and our all-natural growing and production methods, are what give our Alquimia Tequilas their very complex flavor profile. AL: What has helped you succeed in this venture? Dr. M: Being prepared. I never dreamed I would return to our family ranch to be an agave grower, but my science background was a definite asset. Being bilingual and bicultural made a huge difference in being able to get things done, do research, negotiate contracts, and to deal with people at all levels, from our work crew, our suppliers, agricultural engineers, distillery workers, chemists, government officials, inspectors, etc. Just as importantly, having a love and appreciation for my Mexican culture, history, and traditions, as well as having grown up and worked as a professional in the US. AL: What are the challenges to doing business in 2 countries? Dr. M: We must do our homework and know that we must follow each country’s laws and regulations. If we go to another country we must be prepared to do business according to how business is done there. Above all, customs and traditions must be respected. By gaining the trust and respect of the people you are dealing with, you not only are able to conduct business more effectively, you also make a lot of great friends. AL: What is your philosophy as far as giving back to the community? Dr. M: We believe in doing good things for any community in which we live and work. In Mexico, we teach other growers how to improve the quality of their land, increase their productivity, and better their way of life. In the US, we use our product to support many local, state, and US non-profit organizations. We either help them raise funds or donate proceeds to them. A few examples are: Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Food Share, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, California Rural Legal Assistance, and many others. Our family goal is to get to the point where we can establish a scholarship foundation for disadvantaged students, using the proceeds from our product sales. AL: What do you do to market your product, locally and otherwise? Dr. M: We take part in fundraising events that benefit local community-based groups, doing tastings and/or presentations of our product. We also take part in organized tequila and spirits tastings throughout the state. In addition, a very valuable tool for us has been online marketing. AL: What activities have given you the best results: Dr. M: I believe it is important to coordinate online marketing with events where we can meet people, talk to them about our product, answer questions, and of course, have them actually taste our line of organic tequilas. A per fV7BWR2FRF'W6W72WFr&VG2&Vr&RFFƲFVRRRB6&RW"W'67F'W"VFW66f"W"&V7BBFRfRvRfRf"vBvR&RFrârFR6VRFRgWGW&RbƖR&WFsG"ӢvRvVBfRFW'6ǒVWBV6BWfW'W'6FB2FW&W7FVBV֖FWVBF6&RBvFFVFB2'fW6ǒB76&RFRWB&W7BFr2ƖR&WFrBw2RFF"W"W76vRFW"F&vWBVFV6RFFW&7BvFFVVV7G&6ǒFG&6&W76R&FW2BVffV7FfGBFR6vW27FFǒB2fW'fV&RFFBB'W6W76W2VVBF6VFRFV"'W6W72FR&W7B'B&WBB2FBB2g&VR"r67BrB66W76&RF'W6W76W2â'Frv&G3G"ӢvR&V6FRFR'GVGF&R6VFVBF2w&VBV&Ɩ6FFR6V6f"rF2f&RFW"6'W6W726VGvRvVBƖRFfFRFW&W7FVB&VFW'2Ff6BW"vV'vRBwwrFWVV֖6BFW2f6V&Bwwrf6V&6FWVV֖BGvGFW"BwwrGvGFW"6FWVV֖BvRf'v&BF6&rV֖FWVvFRvRRFBRVW"FWV2V62vRV'&vrBFR4TBD%U4U20C#6WF( ( 7B&B433RCrs30U$4DtR( "%$trTR%U4U52B5TEU$RDtUDU"D4ĔR4Р