Gelato Made Consciously - Go Solo
Nov. 2022 - Team Subkit | Read the full interview made by GoSolo here.
Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food & beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Corina Jimenez, Owner of Vegallia, located in Miami, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Vegallia is a Florida-local, minority women-owned, mother-daughter business.
We manufacture a gourmet plant-based gelato product line recognized for its creaminess and texture. It has no sugar added. It's dairy-free and gluten-free. Crafted with 100% natural ingredients from fair-trade and local producers, certified non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher, just like our gelato.
We are currently servicing specialty stores, retail chains, restaurants, senior living communities, hotels, catering events, and more with our consciously made gelato.
Tell us about yourself
It all started in 2011 when I was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which required me to stop eating sugar, dairy, and gluten. This was not only a shocking moment for us as a family, but also a moment of realization. We noticed that there wasn't a delicious dessert on the market that fit my needs, and we wondered how late in life we begin to take our health seriously, especially regarding our food choices. What would happen if we learned to eat healthy as kids?
With a lifestyle need for a conscious, yet tasty treat, the quest to create Vegallia began in Venezuela, achieving nationwide success very fast. We decided to emigrate when it became untenable for us as a family to stay in our country, as it no longer offered us security or a comfortable life.
In 2015, we moved to Florida and founded our company. After much research and support from a team of nutritionists and food science specialists, Vegallia was born in 2017 from plant-based, state-of-the-art, functional ingredients—all while tasting amazing!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We made a significant investment to build our dream without the possibility of a loan as an immigrant. Still, Vegallia's most outstanding achievement is having imagined and anticipated a product that most people didn't understand.
It required education because people did not realize the importance of eating healthy and that quality food is our best medicine. When the pandemic arrived, it was clear that eating without added sugar, eliminating or reducing dairy, and the amounts of gluten we ingested made a difference in having a solid immune system and overall well-being.
We are ambassadors of conscious eating and want to be successful in Miami. This city welcomed us and gave us a stage to make this possible.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Resilience is vital when you become a business owner. Converting sales is an art every entrepreneur needs to master and is something we have been perfecting over the years.
To make this successfully, we have been networking, building connections, and getting to know our market. Understanding the market and our ability to reinvent ourselves lets us thrive on this entrepreneurial journey.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Build a clientele that will be expecting your product or service.
- Start small and prove the market before making a large inversion.
- Get connected and make use of organizations and local resources to support you along the way.