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Exploring Life & Business with Refugio Rodriguez of RefiSnacks TM

Today we’d like to introduce you to Refugio Rodriguez.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My story begins in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. I was a full-time college student and my goal was to graduate and apply to Law School right away. During that time, I helped my mom’s home base business every weekend and worked two jobs during the week. Unfortunately, due to covid-19, I lost both of my jobs and I could no longer afford to continue school since I had to help my family even more. Luckily, coming from a family of hard-working entrepreneurs in which we have always found solutions to any given problem, I was greatly inspired and decided to start my own business. “Like so many others, the pandemic was difficult on my mental health. I became inspired by my purpose to bring happiness to my friends, family, and those who surround me. I wanted to share something I enjoyed in my younger years…including my message against bullying by showing kindness to others, pushed me to tell my story, and thus, RefiSnacks was born”.

I’ve always had big dreams and aspirations and the pandemic was not going to stop me! I started selling because I felt the need to create something to support the life I desired. A life where kindness led the way no matter whether I was going to become a lawyer or an entrepreneur. I had a purpose to bring happiness with something that brought me joy as a child, something that no matter the situation, you could pick it up and enjoy like delicious chamoy candy!

RefiSnacks TM was created in 2020 in the city of Palmdale, California by Refugio (Refi) Rodriguez.  We are a self-started vegan chamoy candy business serving all of Los Angeles County and surrounding areas.  Our objective is to promote the movement of kindness to the world with our delicious One-Of-A-Kind “Original Wet Candy.” We enjoy bringing the small business community together to showcase a platform with what they are truly passionate about. We do this by hosting fabulous events, promoting our brands alongside many other amazing small businesses, and bringing together the community of the Antelope Valley and surrounding areas. RefiSnacks “The Original Wet Candy“ is always looking for opportunities to grow, expand, and inspire, to one day be strong enough to become a household name!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I try to focus on the positive. Owning my own business sure is a lot of work, but doing it on my own time and being able to express myself, is all worth it! I create what I want from the heart, I am able to influence kindness, and bring people together. Being able to do that and having fun doing it is all that matters to me. I’ve realized how much time and effort a small business owner puts into their own ideas, crafts, ethics, planning, communicating, and executing. All of these things can be very demanding but finding time to manage your own life and mental health is key. Creating a brand is the easy part but putting in the work is just as crucial as anything in life. As a result of being extremely big on detail, my company delivers exceptional service by providing the best for our customers and letting our work speak for itself. To answer to the question “Has this been a smooth road?” No, it has not; but what road is? Everything takes time, hard work, and dedication but being an entrepreneur has been the best experience of my life– and learning how to grow from the mistakes I’ve made thus far is a rewarding experience. Today I am still learning and I have many “ouch” momments, especially with people in my community. However, all I can do is say “I am sorry. I am tiring my best and I hope to move forward in this learning experience. At the end of the day, we are all learning and we can’t let obstacles get in our way.

As you know, we’re big fans of RefiSnacks TM. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We make the best Vegan Chamoy Candy in LA! We make our own chamoy sauce, which is a sour and tangy syrup made out of delicious tamarind, organic dry fruit, and our own mix of spices. Our original sauce is 100% vegan! Our website’s top seller is our mouthwatering Chamoy Gushers, Mango & Watermelon Chunks, Peach rings, and Refi’s Rim Paste for cocktails! We have partnered up with a local brewery called Lucky Luke Brewing Co. in Palmdale/Lancaster, CA…where you can try the one and only “Refi Rim” that won’t drip down your beer cup or cocktail glass! We have also partnered up with Zero Degrees Custard & Ice in Lancaster, CA which exclusively carries our candy. You can currently find us on Wednesdays at the Pershing Square in D.T.L.A. Farmers Market, Friday night at the Monrovia Ca. street fair & market, Saturday in the Downey farmers market, and Sundays, at the Av Four Points in Palmdale. In case you are not local, we ship nationwide! Shop now at RefiSnacks.Com! Use code: VoyagelaREFI 25% off! We provide private catering for many events throughout the year! Our candy is to die for because we make it with love and it will be coming to a store near you soon!

What sets you apart from others? What are you most proud of brand-wise?
Our movement of #KindessMatters in which we work with some of our local Nonprofit organizations doing non-profit work and #StrongerTogether hosting fabulous events for the small biz community of the A.V. We not only sell delicious candy; but we are very involved with issues that need our attention; such as homelessness and the fight for hunger. In fact, this past year my brand was able to host a hygiene drive, servicing over 300 women in Skid Row and Echo Park. We also had the honor of partnering with the City of Palmdale and New Colors Project 501(c)(3) in hosting our very first “Clean The Earth” city event, which will be moving to DTLA this year. Last year, we closed the year by joining forces with the Antelope Valley Salvation Army and the City of Lancaster hosting a snack drive as part of a toy drive distribution. We provided free candy and other snacks to kids and families of the A.V. and hosted proms for non-profit purposes for youth. Further, one of the many accomplishments I am very proud of is having a full online business in which we ship nationwide like New York, Miami, and Texas. It is mind-blowing to me that we are able to share our delicious candy with people outside our own community.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Being able to start my business during the middle of the pandemic was an accomplishment in itself. I faced many obstacles but those obstacles also gave me an advantage. I was able to thrive during this pandemic because individuals were looking for an escape. With there being a limited amount of people allowed inside buildings, I gave the community an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with pop-up events, which launched my business into what it is today. The epiphany I want you to remember from my brand is me telling you to “Get up, wipe those tears off your face, own up to it, and if they reject you at least you showed them love and kindness. It is not your job to change people but change yourself to the best version yet. Everywhere you go, you make sure they know your name. Remember that there are seven billion people in the world if twenty don’t like you you will be just fine!! Finally, believe in yourself & don’t give up!”

Pricing:

  • Chamoy Gushers – $11 (9oz)
  • Refi’s Famous Rim Paste $12 (10oz)
  • Mango Chunks $11 (9oz)
  • Watermelon Chunks $11 (9oz)
  • Peach Rings $11 (9oz)

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Sebastian James Kings RefiSnacksEvents – LaBrina Bebo

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