Juicy Luzy Sangria: Owner, Luz Cavazos
During Women’s History Month, we will be highlighting women-owned businesses that have a unique story to tell and that will offer value to others. Luz Cavazos, owner of Juicy Luzy Sangria makes delicious sangria and like most business owners during the pandemic, she struggled to keep her business afloat but had the courage and determination to keep going despite the challenges she faced.
Tell me about your business
Juicy Luzy Sangria is a family-owned business. We make and bottle our own sangria, we do a variety of flavors, including pear, pomegranate, mango, ruby red, as well as seasonal flavors. Originally, I would make sangria for family and friends and they were the ones that encouraged me to start my own business. My husband came up with the name Juicy Luzy Sangria so we shared the name with friends and it caught on. People love our sangria because we don’t use a lot of sugar, we use natural juices and you’ll see some settlement on the bottom because we want people to have that flavor of wine with the hint of the juices where one doesn’t overpower the other one, so you’re still getting a good balance. It’s a product that is intended to be shared with family and friends. I have a big family and we always like to get together and enjoy each other’s company. I tell people to share our product with a friend or someone they care about or at a family party or barbecue.
What is your connection to IHCC?
We’ve worked with Pedro Guerra, Director Of the SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program at IHCC and he encouraged us to become members. We just became members and we are looking forward to attending the events that the IHCC has to offer and working with the chamber to see how they can help us grow. It’s important for us to be part of a community where we can go and ask for help when we need it.
What’s the best part of being a woman-owned business?
Being a woman-owned business is like being on a rollercoaster, that’s the best way I could describe it because we’ve had our highs and then had our lows and we didn’t know what’s coming up next. We’ve had some exciting times when we’ve been able to promote our product and do it and feel good about it, then we’ve had those moments that are difficult. Especially now, with what happened with the pandemic, that brought us down because we didn’t know if we would still be in business. With everything that happened, we didn’t know how things were going to be.
How were you affected by the pandemic?
During the pandemic we had to get creative, we had to really get creative with our product. Even though we couldn’t have people in here doing tastings, we were able to still offer tastings to go. We created these little bottles and we put them into packages so that people would still get all of our flavors. Instead of doing the tastings here, they could pick them up on the curbside and they could still do the sampling of what we were offering here so that’s one of the ways we got creative. Currently, we’re in some stores but I’m hoping that will change soon and we’re also in a couple of restaurants so that kind of you know helped us along the way. Another thing that helped us stay in business was online ordering, so people were ordering the product online so that helped us grow too.
What’s the most difficult thing about being in business?
I worked in corporate all my life. I’ve worked for other people and it’s empowering to work for yourself because you could basically run the business the way you want. You are your own boss, you can set your hours. Even though sometimes your hours are crazy, they’re not like working normal 9-5 hours, but I think the fact that it empowers us as women-owned businesses. I feel empowered to be able to accomplish something that I can do and we’re bringing satisfaction to some people with the products that we’re offering. Hispanic businesses, don’t come from big investors, but we’re here to make it and we put a lot of love into it. We don’t want anybody to ever feel like we’re cheapening our product to make more money, so it’s just empowering to know that we can set our own hours run our business the way we want, and don’t have anybody telling us what to do.
What advice do you have for other women?
We work with a lot of women that have small businesses and I think the important thing is to not give up, even when you feel like you want to give up. When you’re in business, only other people who are in business could relate to what you’re saying or what you’re feeling. I think the best advice that I could give to women and businesses is don’t give up even when you feel like you want to give up, even when you feel like you don’t think it’s going to work or you don’t have that confidence in yourself. For me, prayer is number one, so I always first give it to God. I always just give it to him and then the rest is just surrounding yourself with other women in business that could encourage you because a lot of times women in business were working alone and we don’t have a full staff or we don’t have that sense of community where you can just go and talk to a coworker or something. Don’t give up, even when things seem so difficult and you don’t want to continue, it’s just a sense of wanting to succeed and see your product grow and see other people enjoying it.
For more information, visit www.juicyluzysangria.com.