This is a multiple part interview conducted by the Target Accelerators team. Participating companies have been asked to share details about themselves and their brand after completing a Target Accelerators program.
September 15th marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month and our team is celebrating by catching up with some of our alumnus who have identified as Latinx founders. Learn more about what Regina, CEO/Founder of Nemi Snacks, has been up to since completing the Target Forward Founders program.
Nemi Snacks are crunchy snacks made from nopales (the prickly pear paddle) and seeds in Mexican flavors. Our mission is to elevate Mexican cultura through high-quality, fun and nutritious snacks with sombrero-free branding.
Target Accelerators: What inspired you to you start your brand?
Regina: When I moved from Mexico City to Chicago, my first stop was the grocery store to look for Mexican food. I went into the “ethnic” aisle and felt unrepresented. I found well-established brands portraying Mexican cultura in a stereotypical way, using artificial ingredients and with little opportunity for innovation. I then saw nopales, a staple crop in Mexican food. Nopales are packed with gut-friendly fiber, minerals and are the most sustainable Mexican plant. They thrive in hot weather, need little water to survive and don’t need pesticides. Nopales also have a cultural significance and they’re on the Mexican flag! But as I was about to grab them, I noticed they had spikes! Yikes! I thought no one would buy an intimidating-looking vegetable. Nemi Snacks was born from this experience and opportunity to share a modern Mexico away from stereotypes. We’re proud to push back against the stereotype that if something is ethnic, it’s cheap or made with low quality ingredients. So, no sombreros here. The market opportunity is there and we’re filling a “brown” space to bring más sabor and menos junk into an underdeveloped category.
Target Accelerators: What is something you’ve learned from your program that you still use til this day?
Regina: Continue finding ways to connect with your consumer. I created the rebrand with help from the Accelerator as a result of feedback from mentors, fellow founders and consumers. Every time I look at the packaging, it reminds myself to continue asking for feedback, listening to consumers and asking them for guidance when in doubt.
Target Accelerators: What is next for your brand?
Regina: We just moved into our own warehouse, are onboarding with a distributor, hired a small team and are about to launch with Go Puff nationwide!
Target Accelerators: What is one piece of advice you have for fellow entrepreneurs?
Regina: Have a self-care practice before launching your company.
about the founder
Originally from Mexico City and now based in Chicago, Regina felt unrepresented the moment she stepped foot in Chicago grocery stores. Regina found well-established brands portraying Mexican cultura in a stereotypical way, brands that were unlikely to upgrade their ingredient list and innovate in the marketplace. Nemi Snacks was founded with a mission to elevate Mexican cultura in the U.S. through high-quality Mexican snacks in sombrero-free branding. Nemi Snacks are crunchy sticks made from seeds and nopales (a.k.a. prickly pear paddle) in Mexican-inspired flavors.