[The second annual Sabor Latino Food Show took place on May 12-13, 2015 at the Pasadena Convention Center. Tequila Aficionado Media was asked to tag along with Embajador tequila as its importer/brand owner attempts to break into the competitive Southern California spirits market.]
It’s no secret that trying to jockey for position into the competitive California spirits market is as tough as winning the Triple Crown in horseracing. This is doubly true if you’re a fledging tequila brand trying to distinguish yourself from the rest of the field.
That’s where trade shows like Sabor Latino can help.
[Tweet “Jockeying for position in the California spirits market is as tough as winning the Triple Crown”]
Created and organized by CEO, Lilly Rocha, a well connected and solidly certified event planner with 17 years of experience and with both national and international clients.
The Sabor Latino Food show recognizes the growing power of the Latino consumer in the US by helping to “Define the Tastes of the New Majority,” which also happened to be this year’s show theme.
After graciously introducing her team, and acknowledging troops of culinary students whom she affords the opportunity for internships with companies that prepare them for college or careers, Lilly cuts the ribbon and unleashes the mariachis.
[Tweet “Sabor Latino Food show recognizes the growing power of the Latino consumer”]
As with most trade shows, an intense 5 or 6 hours is usually spent educating potential customers on the virtues of your product.
Here, Andres Garcia, regional sales manager and family member of Embajador, samples his tequila to approving Spanish speaking attendees.
In this cut, Andres explains the differences of Embajador reposado and añejo to an employee of the LA Times.
[Tweet “Sabor Latino Food Show – Connecting great Latino products, companies, distributors, and consumers”]
At the Sabor Latino Food Show, Tequila Aficionado got to try new products, old favorites, and get surprising scoops, for instance…
[Tweet “Aging a mixto?! WTH Orendain?”]
Maricela Martinez of Frank-Lin Distillers showcased her tequilas Puerto Vallarta, Ollitas, and Gran Orendain.
Brand Manager, Daniel Del Razo carries the only canned pulque in the US, Hacienda 1881.
[Tweet “Canned pulque? Sabor Latino Food Show had it!”]
For tequila aficionados interested in exploring the roots of tequila and mezcal, you certainly need to try it.
Several importers and brand owners stopped by to tell Tequila Aficionado about their upcoming offerings for Summer 2015.
Ernesto Aguirre of Aguirre Imports discusses his brands and his strategic alliance with Alvaro Molina’s Dos Artes tequila, a 2014 Brand Of Promise(TM) winner.
[Tweet “Sabor Latino Food Show – an all-star show!”]
Another 2014 Brand Of Promise(TM) winner in the ready-to-drink category (RTD), Jean-Paul Rojo of JLP Craft Margaritas visited with us and gave us a rundown of its new packaging and project for Costco.
[Tweet “JLP Tequila takes their award winning RTD margaritas to Costco!”]
Not everyone who came by was exhibiting at the Sabor Latino Food Show. Some, like Miguel De Los Rios and Tatiana Vallejo, owners of Aguila Real tequila, just came to size up the field of newcomers.
Look for Aguila Real, one of the hottest brands to hit the tequila market in a long time, all over SoCal.
[Tweet “Alexander Perez, Founder of Tequila Aficionado comes out of hiding for Sabor Latino Show”]
Even our founder, Alex Perez, stopped in to say hello.
What’s New, Day 2
On day two, we met Daniel Villaneda of Global Spirits Imports who sampled a full array of Pochteca Liqueurs along with an upcoming tequila from Chef Martín San Román whose own restaurant, La Terrasse, is in the heart of Baja California’s burgeoning wine country, the Valle de Guadalupe.
[Tweet “Tequila encroaches on wine country – California loves it all!”]
Speaking of the Valle de Guadalupe, Volubilis Imports displayed a series of wines from that emerging region. Vice President of Sales, Marcus Salvemini, gives us some background on his company.
[Tweet “Wines from Baja Mexico make a splash at Sabor Latino Food show”]
Marcus explained that vintner, Hugo D’Acosta, is considered the Mexican Robert Mondavi and primarily responsible for the region’s current wine boom.
In this snippet, he imparts the area’s history and the varietals that are carried by Volubilis Imports.
Dessert Pairing with Embajador Tequila
One of the more exciting vendors at the Sabor Latino Food Show, was Marian Lopez, owner of Mama Cheesecake in Pasadena, CA.
A one time single mom, Marian began baking her original cheesecake recipes about twenty-five years ago as a way to raise money for her children’s extra-curricular school activities.
Marian explains more about her background and baking methods.
[Tweet “Bake sales to big business – Mama Cheesecake is loaded with great taste!”]
After discovering what her baking methods had in common with some tequila producers, Marian approached the Embajador tequila booth to try all three expressions and to select the ones she wanted to pair with her latest creation, the Spicy Mama chocolate cheesecake.
[Tweet “Sabor Latino Food Show – where cheesecake & tequila meet”]
[Tweet “Sabor Latino: Family roots run deep in Latino hearts and businesses”]
Marian reveals what her inspiration was for her Spicy Mama chocolate cheesecake recipe.
Marian and her business partner, Acacia, pair their Spicy Mama chocolate cheesecake with Embajador Premium Reposado and Supreme Añejo.
[Tweet “Spicy chocolate cheesecake & Embajador Tequila: Perfecto!”]
These, and many other exciting Latino based food and beverage products premiered at the second annual Sabor Latino Food Show.
Embajador Body Slams Latino Taste Buds!
An estimated 900-1000 attendees passed through the doors of the Pasadena Convention Center and several hundred were floored by Embajador tequila’s aromas and flavors.
A few days after the show, Embajador was notified that it had won the Sabor Latino Tequila Take Down competition held among the tequila brands participating in the event, as the crowd favorite.
The Southern California Latino community has taken serious notice of Embajador tequila as a promising brand worthy of their attention.
[Tweet “Embajador Tequila wins Sabor Latino Tequila Takedown!”]
A Brand Of Promise
With the tortilla chip–and arguably, Mexican wine and spirits–among other Latin influenced foods becoming a staple of the American culinary experience, there’s no reason to believe that Lilly Rocha and the Sabor Latino Food Show won’t become a major player to look up to for all Latino food and beverage products eager to debut in the challenging Southern California market.
Watch for The Sabor Latino Food Show coming to Chicago, June 8-11, 2015.
[Tweet “Latin flavors are for everyone – Sabor Latino Food Show proves it! Salud!”]