Young entrepreneur combines the familiar flavors drawn from Latino beverages to deliver an energy drink that she hopes will boost her company's success.
LatinaLista — There's one word that sums up the essence of Daisy Ramirez these days -- energy. Energy is what propelled this 30-year-old Latina to leave her native Honduras for North Carolina almost eight years ago and put in long hours and even longer days testing out her college degree in business administration.
Before long, Ramirez found herself vice president of a construction company. It was while she was managing the business that she noticed that everyone needed an extra boost of energy throughout the day, and it gave her an idea for a new venture.
"A lot of our employees were Latinos and all of us were drinking energy drinks, but I did not like the flavor available," said Ramirez. "I heard over and over again the same thing about the unpleasant flavors of the energy drink. So, I started thinking about developing a drink with a flavor that we recognize and enjoy, and adding to that more energy."
Not one to wait, Ramirez sprang into action and immediately started researching the market. What she found was that there was no energy drink targeting the growing Latino market nor taking advantage of the flavors Latinos are most familiar with, and more importantly like.
"Buzzed" by the potential of her idea, Ramirez quickly founded her company DLR Associates, Inc. and settled on a name for her new 16-ounce canned product, Potencia.
Next came refining the ingredients that would not just deliver a boost but a familiar flavor to Latino taste buds. Ramirez settled on two flavors -- mango and tamarind. Each flavor would be supplemented with a combination of such energy-boosting ingredients as tuarine, caffeine, guarana, ginseng and ginkgo.
Working her day-job while hunting for the funding every new entrepreneur needs, Ramirez also found herself conducting a search for not only staff to help her market and maintain her new business but also to create and deliver the product.
"It surprised me how difficult it was to find the right distributors," confessed Ramirez. "I wanted distributors who were willing to do the job not just have a delivery truck."
Ramirez also wanted Potencia to be specifically marketed to one segment of the Latino population. Remembering her days back at the construction company when it was the men who were swigging the energy drinks, Ramirez and her team decided to target Potencia to 18-40-year-old men.
A web site created to market the drink specifically targets men with its masculine design and depictions of men involved in all kinds of sporting activities.
In fact, Ramirez and her marketing team are continually seeking out different sports personalities to partner with in reaching their target demographic.
They're even looking beyond the United States to grow their distribution with an eye towards Mexico, along with, the addition of new flavors such as mandarin and guava.
Yet, while Ramirez is busy these days growing her company, she has made time for a special project close to her heart. Losing her father this past June back home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Ramirez created the Juan Ramirez Foundation in his honor.
"After several hard years, America has given me many opportunities and now is the right time to do this," Ramirez said.
Ramirez' foundation will provide the funds to improve healthcare and supply medicine to children and seniors in Honduras. Also, it will transport U.S. donations of shoes, clothes and toys for the poor children of the country as well.
Reflecting back on the short time it's taken to achieve so much in her life, Ramirez said, "When I see someone drinking Potencia energy drink, it reminds me of why I started this journey, and it makes me feel so proud."