Every celebrity these days known to mankind has a tequila, George Clooney, the Rock, you name them and they have a tequila. I think it is great for the industry and should be celebrated. But sometimes, I just love a real Cinderella story.
The real tequila Cinderella story comes out of Chicago in the name of Hector Arellano, who just obtained an ownership interest in El Nacimiento tequila brand. You probably never heard of Hector, he does not have a top 10 album or an Oscar to his name, but he has something else, street grit.
When you meet Hector there is a Rocky Balboa feeling to him, a guy coming from a working-class neighborhood born to Mexican immigrant parents. He is a blue-collar guy, a guy without a college education, an unknown trying to make it to the top.
He hopes to fight his way to great success, so he can inspire generations that come after him. As Hector said “I didn’t go to college, but I worked hard and had a vision, and now I have an ownership interest and I am ready to take on the market. I hope one day that a great success story will inspire many young Mexican entrepreneurs.”
Over the last decade Hector worked hard and tirelessly to build El Nacimiento up in the Chicago marketplace, taking it from an unknown brand to the Official Bicentennial Tequila for the State of Illinois. As Hector stated, “I believe in the tequila, anyone that sips it will be hard pressed to find a better tequila. When people taste our tequila next to the more well known tequilas, there is no doubt they will choose ours.” One high profile restaurant owner in Chicago called El Nacimiento the best tequila he ever tasted.
But building the brand has been akin to a street fight, there has been ups and downs in the business, the brand has changed distributors and has changed business partners, but along the way Hector never gave up his vision. “You just need to keep fighting, the struggle is worth it, I am a brand owner and that is a great accomplishment, I am not at the top yet, but I am in the game, and I will play hard until I get to the top.”
For Hector the next steps are growing a business and finding investors. “I want to grow the brand, I have an ownership interest in the brand, and it is my responsibility to make it grow. We have great momentum in the Chicago area, our accounts are rapidly increasing and the local news program highlighted our tequila during Cinco De Mayo. But I want to build a nationwide brand, a worldwide brand, I dream of one day people in a place like Mississippi asking the bar whether they carry El Nacimiento.“
“I have the will and the fight to make this happen, once we get the resources, we will be on our way!”
The tequila world is competitive and tough, but if anyone can break into a celebrity laced tequila world, it is this working-class Mexican kid from Chicago.
I loved Rocky as a kid because the unknown fighter gets his shot and makes it to the top.
As I look at Hector’s journey, I see the same affinity I have for Rocky Balboa extends to Hector Arellano.
I am pulling for Hector as he starts this endeavor to build his brand. Why, because like everyone else, I just love a Cinderella story!