Colorado Latinos/as to Know and Support: June 2023
Owners in order of appearance; José D. Beteta, Tamil Maldonado Vega, Martín D. Vargas
Raíces Brewing Company, which opened September 27, 2019, was co-founded by three Latino partners, Tamil Maldonado, José Beteta, and Martín Vargas. Tamil and Martin are originally from Puerto Rico and José is originally from Costa Rica.
José, Tamil, and Martín wanted to produce a quality beer that taps into the owners's Latino heritage and brings representation of Latino and other underrepresented groups into the beer industry. The owners also wanted to provide a safe and engaging space where Latino Culture could be valued and shared with the world in a positive light. Raíces's pillars are Community, Culture, and Cerveza, and all their services are based around those pillars. For instance, the brewery at 2060 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO, 80204 serves as a community cultural, and resource center. Raíces actively supports the Latino community, community projects, small vendors, artists, and performers The owners also promote community leadership through Raíces Nación, a program they developed to incorporate community participation in Raíces programs, activities, and events.
The website states: At Raíces, culture is an asset. Raíces sparks Latino cultural awareness in everyone and crafts cross-cultural connections that enriches our community.
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José D. Beteta - Chief Executive Officer
José uses his business and IT background to run the day-to-day operations of the brewery while overseeing all other areas and providing support to the departments in conjunction with COO. His experience in various industries and running a chamber of commerce are an asset, coupled with his Business and IT degrees, and extensive marketing experience, that translates smoothly into the management and operations of the brewery. His avid, thinking-outside-the-box approaches brings innovation to the craft beer industry and Raíces envision.
Tamil Maldonado Vega - Chief Operating Officer
Tamil serves as an active transformational leader making strategic decisions while handling resources, programs and front of house. In partnership with the CEO, she is responsible for the design & implementation of a comprehensive plan for Raíces, in addition to overseen outreach, establish external alliances, cultivate relationships, & develop activities. Her knowledge in self-managed organizations (organizaciones de autogestión) and running cultural organizations ensures the brewery has year-round programming and community engagement.
Martín D. Vargas - Brewery Operations
Martín is a veteran brewer with over a decade of brewing experience and a history of running his own brewery in Puerto Rico. He manages the brewery operations, production staff, quality control and product development at Raíces Brewing Co. Martín makes the brewery unique by bringing his knowledge of working with up to 40 barrel systems. He translates his Latino culture to craft unique flavors. The talented brewer has won 20 awards with his own creations at DACAY Brewery, Dry Dock Brewing Company, and with Raíces Brewing Co.
Is your heritage/identity/culture a part of your business?
Definitely! Community, Cultura, Cerveza is our motto. These pillars interact and feed each other in our model. We bring community through our programming and our presentations of Latin Cultures and we support our activities through our Beer (Cerveza) as a sustainable way to bring who we are as Latinos in the space. By sharing our heritage/identity and culture we hope to inspire others to do the same and make it an asset to their business. We want to provide a benefit to our communities celebrating who we are, our accomplishments and our time to serve.
What sets your business apart from others? Our intentionality sets our business apart. Our value and appreciation of cultura and people's background and cultural heritages. From programming, having a story behind each product or engaging community in participation through Raíces Nación (volunteer program) or Raíces SEEDs (internship program).
Follow Raices Brewing Company on TikTok.
Being a small business owner is not easy. What challenges have you faced? Have you ever thought of giving up? If so, what inspired or motivated you to keep going?
Before opening we were looking for ways to find funding, a location, and the partners to open our vision. We opened the taproom in September of 2019 and five months after, the pandemic hit the world. After that, inflation, changes in laws, economic barriers affected every small business. Being a start up, with just a few months open was a challenge. However we saw it as an opportunity to create different ways to be sustainable, to keep engaging the public, and to follow our pillars. Our impact inspires us to continue with the efforts every day. Supporting caters, food trucks, artists and more excites us to work harder because we believe in collaboration, partnership and in continuing to work together to see our communities succeed.
What is the most joyful part of your business?
We love seen families enjoying the space, having a great time that is educational, culturally rich and entertaining. The executives enjoy having our team and seeing them grow and become successful in their own dreams and careers. It is an honor to be part of their journey in life. We enjoy winning awards for the products, the efforts, or programming, because our success is the success of the people that are working with us, it is a reflection of an achievement that has deeply benefited our community.
What are you most proud of?
We are most proud to provide a legacy for our people, for breaking barriers, and for inspiring others to do the same with their own ideas and projects.
What qualities, characteristics, or people have contributed to your success?
We have carefully selected the people that we add onto our team. People that can embody our values, our intentions, and our mission. They are the true representatives of Raíces.
What advice do you for others who want to start their own business?
Take your time to create your business plan. What differentiates you from others? What do you bring to the table? What are your intentions? What would benefit the community? Also choose your team wisely and let go of people that do not add to your vision, have conflicting interests, or a negative attitude that can hinder your vision.
All images are the property of Raices Brewing Company.
Some content may have been edited for clarity.