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The opinions of the employees of You are personal.
- GastroBox is a brand for nostalgic products from the Sonora region.
Fermín Soto and Martín Landeros met in the USA for an exchange. Both young people, originally from Hermosillo, Sonora, missed the food from their hometown after two months, but that feeling reminded them of the idea of starting a company that could bring products from your area to where you were.
“Martín and I clicked from the first day, we became very close friends and around the second month you quickly miss family, friends, girlfriend and then food and we realize that you don’t really start to miss food for food if you don’t for what transported you, ”explains Fermín Soto in an interview for in Spanish.
That’s how it was born GastroBox, a brand of nostalgic products from the Sonora region. “Hermosillo has very good brands, very good products, but you are from Sonora and the truth is that few have managed to get to a national level, let alone international. That’s where part of the idea began to land, ”says Fermín.
Upon their return, the entrepreneurs began speaking to local businesses and found they were interested in the idea of being able to sell their products online throughout the Mexican Republic. They also spoke to customers outside the area and they all agreed that to consume these types of items they “had to take a plane, but not everyone could afford it”.
Later on, Leslie Valdes would be added, who would be responsible for the brand’s design. Young people from Sonora started a little over a year ago by investing a thousand pesos to buy the domain for the site and emails. Currently, they have already managed to sell cardboard boxes in the country’s 32 states.
Would you like to order a product from your region?
Although only Sonora products are currently being shipped, the entrepreneurs plan to expand. Through them you can get pieces of meat, drinks, sweets, sauces, tortillas, spices, among other things.
Image: GastroBox via Facebook.
The brand manages two modalities: a catalog with already assembled boxes from 600 to 2,850 pesos including shipping and the open catalog, in which the user can choose at will and create his own box.
GastroBox doesn’t charge its suppliers for being on their page and they even post the business link so people can learn more about them on social networks.
“Conquer your zone first”
s saw the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to use any of the advice they received in Shark Tank Mexico, as their business “stayed static” at the outset because parcel services “were a real disaster”. .
“I think that this time of crisis was an opportunity for us and we talked about it. The moment came a lot together with our experience at Shark Tank and the truth is we came back with very good advice and one that came from We were very impressed. They first conquer their territory and then they think about leaving, ”explains Fermín.
With that advice, they started creating a model of boxes based on kits with pre-defined recipes, just for Hermosillo. “The first thing we made was a box of everything you need to make New York steak in butter, chiltepin sauce, and dessert.”
In this way they made themselves known to local customers. GastroBox came to Shark tank Mexico, Broadcast on Canal Sonyand called for an investment of one million pesos 250,000 for 20% of the mark. However, the sharks were not interested in the offer.
“We used a projected cash flow valuation that is used in mutual funds, but the negotiations didn’t happen because of the type of valuation they gave,” they explain.
Image: Courtesy Shark Tank México.
But the advice one of the sharks gave him would move them to move on during the crisis caused by the pandemic in Mexico and the world. “When they told us that, we started to grow here and meet more producers, and we saw part of the need they had that was derived from COVID. There was a lot to see how we could support,” says Martin.
Likewise, entrepreneurs state that they have always tried to work hand in hand with theirs partner so that the business is a win-win. And they talked to them to bring products to market together.
The idea that was born in the United States must return to the United States
“Our goal is still to keep expanding and opening more regions. There is currently an opportunity to open the GastroBox Nuevo León version. This is definitely an area that can be used and that we can step into and open more” says Leslie.
From the beginning the idea was to take these products out and bring them to people even further from Sonora and Mexico. “We know it takes time to do it this way, but our main goal is to get to the United States.
“There are people like Martín and I who look for these products there because you want to feel close to your mother, your father, the places you miss, and if it happens to you in Mexico you have the option of a plane ticket or buy a bus. But when you are in the United States there is often no such option, even if you have the money and we know our product has a different value there and evokes feelings that we can create here, but there we will exponentiate, ”concludes Fermín.