CONNECTING PEOPLE THROUGH FOOD- HISPANIC HERITAGE
Luana Ferreira | Cortesy of Zubi’s | Moisés Cervantes
Founder and CEO of ZUBI'S Sarah Zubiate, has created a company that honors her heritage and transformed salsa and dips into healthier allergen-free alternatives.
Sarah Zubiate doesn't hide her passion for when it comes to food, health, and family. She brought it all together when she created zubi’s, a plant-based company that offers a healthier version of Latin salsa and dips. Sarah found the inspiration for the brand in her upbringing - perhaps that's the secret behind its success.
She was adopted at birth by Gloria and George Zubiate, a couple in their 40s. When Sarah realized her parents had many health problems and would not change their eating habits, she knew it was useless trying to change their minds. Instead, the entrepreneur created a healthy version of salsa and dips they used to have at home. When her parents finally approved them, she realized she could share them with more people.
zubi’s was founded in 2017, and the name is inspired by the family who raised Sarah. The brand brought products that are part of Sarah's affective memory; she knows that food has the power to bring people together. "My mission is connecting people through food. I've launched the company because I love food, and it's culturally relevant," Sarah says.
Sarah noticed that many plant-based products have nuts, so she developed salsas and dips that people with nut allergies could eat. zubi’s then launched delicious options that are 100% plant-based, gluten-free and Top-8-Allergen-Free.
The Dallas-based company started selling the products at farmers' markets in Dallas. They can now be found at prominent retailers such as Whole Foods, Central Market, Sprouts, Amazon and online. In the future, Sarah plans to expand and sell to hotels and restaurants and add new products to their portfolio, such as snack packs.
zubi’s has grown without institutional investors, has only used her own funds and a handful of family and friend investors, as Sarah was concerned it could jeopardize her Minority and Latina-Owned business certifications. The entrepreneur spent the last years developing zubi’s base and understanding where she wanted to grow. "I now feel that that could be a potential shift in the next few years where I would accept external funds from someone in the consumer product goods industry."
Sarah is familiar with the feeling of being underestimated for being a Latin woman, but she turns it in her favor. "After getting to know me, the respect grows pretty quickly. And so that's probably one of the larger aspects of my corporate and entrepreneurial career," Sarah adds.
Before being an entrepreneur, Sarah worked in the finance. Motherhood shifted her perspective, feeling the need to change. During her corporate career, she became familiar with analysis, industry projections, and market research. Still, she wishes she had had the chance to have "hands-on exposure" before.
Sarah is also no stranger to wearing multiple hats. She is the co-founder and director of Dallas Express, a non-biased newspaper based in Dallas. She is also a board member of the Metropolitan Civic and Business Association, aiming to create systems of dfw employees who are engaged in their communities, help Dallas to grow responsibly, and to partner with charities who improve systemic problems like homelessness.
For the new generation of Hispanic and female entrepreneurs, Zubiate believes they need courage and hope. "We might all be from different backgrounds. But I hope that people can embrace their upbringing and background and use it as a form of inspiration, power, diversity, and courage."