Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Daniel Viedma, Co-Founder of Lata, located in Culver City, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Lata was created by four friends (Vicent, Nacho, Xevi, and myself) with the dream of bringing our love for tinned seafood and the culture around the US. Growing up back home in Spain (that's where most of our product is imported from), tinned seafood has always been huge: It's a healthy and nutritious addition to your quick lunch (we have the best tuna and sardines), it's an easy way to enjoy a fancy ocean delicacy (such as sea urchin, or razor clams), and it's the perfect snack to enjoy with your friends on a Sunday "hors d'oeuvre" (or "vermut," as we call it). So we wanted to re-create that here and share it with our American friends. Our typical customer really varies a lot. Some people may have traveled to Spain or other European countries and are familiar with this culture. Others are curious about a specific product that it's hard to find in your local fish market, like barnacles or such, but mostly it's just people that love fish and seafood that like to get the best of the best.
Tell us about yourself
I come from a software engineering background (I know, right) and have been working in the digital Creative agency space for the last 10 years here in the US. My other partners also come from very different walks of life, and that's the beauty of the Lata team. Each one brings something unique to the table. I think our main inspiration to get the business started was nostalgia! We were all feeling pretty down and a little homesick back in 2021 amidst the pandemic. So we started thinking, what can we do to bring home a little bit closer to where we are. That's how Lata was born. Our biggest motivation is to bring to the world this incredible part of our country and create a community of people who share our passion for "vermut," tinned seafood, and the culture around. We also dream about opening our own "vermut" bar in NYC, so that's also on the horizon.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
When we look back at the first 8 months of Lata's life, we all feel pretty proud of what we accomplished. Starting a business is something magical in the sense that you create something out of nothing. You "open the doors" on day one, and you don't know if people will come in, but we were welcomed with so much support from friends and family and social sharing. We have a solid base of monthly subscribers (one of our best seller products is a monthly subscription), and the number of customers keeps growing month after month. We feel so grateful and motivated to continue our mission of sharing our love for Spanish food. We are excited about this project, and we can't wait to start sharing more content about how to enjoy our products.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, right now, the hardest thing is juggling Lata with all the other life obligations.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't be afraid of failure. The biggest failure is to never try.
- Look in other people for expertise that you might lack in specific areas. There are a few platforms out there that make this really easy (Fiverr, UpWork, etc.)
- Growing a business is a labor of love, and it does "take a village." Make sure you have all of your family and friends' support.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you haven't tried Lata yet, what are you waiting for?
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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