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Laura is proudly from Tabasco, Mexico. She comes from a family who loves cooking and grew up among the smells and flavours of spices and conversations around recipes. She is a senior partner and commercial and R&D director at ProAgro, a company dedicated to the manufacture of natural vanilla extract and natural flavourings. In 2009, Laura started a new line of business, a frozen food packer, which prompted her to train professionally in gastronomy. She currently develops and markets products for food service, culinary speciality stores, self-service chains and price clubs.
It was in 2009, when the company started a frozen food business, we had to create a new product development area and I was interested in doing so.
What I like the most is dealing directly with our customers, knowing their needs and creating dishes that exceed their expectations of taste and quality. It is a very creative job, no product is the same as another, it is a constant challenge that keeps me active all the time.
My job consists of contacting potential customers, serving, maintaining and capturing our clients needs, creating business opportunities, developing new products from the laboratory level until the client approves, as well as scaling them to an industrial level without losing their essence -the flavour, original characteristics, texture and presentation. Furthermore, my job includes working alongside the design team to create packages that tell a story and helping the marketing team with communications and media promotion, including social networks.
The main challenge was to develop the skills and acquire the necessary knowledge to be able to scale a product to an industrial level. We have to balance all the ingredients again, think about the type of pots, equipment and tools that we are going to use to obtain the expected result.
My team of collaborators are people dynamic and versatile, with a high degree of commitment who are always open to learning. They all know how to use the equipment and tools and the quality standard which they have to work every day.
I always tell them that they have to try everything we prepare and give their opinion.The improvements always come from them, and they also have to be alert to any unexpected change in flavor so we can implement the necessary actions.
I wanted to learn from the best, I believe that if you have a good foundation and know the techniques and secrets of haute cuisine, then you can develop any dish successfully.
After having studied at Le Cordon Bleu anything is possible; I know that I can develop any dish using the proper technique with the best flavour.
My fondest memory was when Chef Carlos Santos taught me how to peel poblano peppers quickly without mistreating the product, due to this to this we were able to obtain a contract to make the chiles en nogada for the largest price club chain in México.
To this day, I still keep in touch with my teachers, they help me with any questions I have. Also, I maintain good friendships with some of my classmates, which I hope will last a lifetime.
More than an achievement, each successful project opens up new sources of sustainable employment, which makes me very happy. The biggest challenge we have had to overcome is that a frozen product must maintain the same quality when it is thawed and hot, remaining as an extraordinary experience for those who try it.
The best piece of advice I received was from my father. He said “the size of the problem is the size of the effort.” It is important to point out a problem, but more importantly to offer solutions.
My advice for entrepreneurs is to make a business plan, use all available tools to minimize the risk of failure. Be prepared and acquire the necessary knowledge to successfully execute your project and become passionate about it.
The passion which my people work with, they inspire me to always keep going.
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