Berenice Tenorio was born and raised in the small town of San Bartolo Tutotepec, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. As a child, she was a very outstanding student, which later allowed her to open doors to further her studies, travel, and discover her passion for Mexican food and commerce.
So it was that thanks to her academic merit upon graduating from high school, Tenorio had the opportunity to win a scholarship that allowed her to study international business at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, one of the most prestigious universities in Mexico.
Abasto’s INTERVIEW WITH BERENICE TENORIO
Tenorio detailed the path she followed in her life with the solid knowledge and experiences she acquired in college until she became the owner of Nuestra Cocina Brands, a prosperous company based in Chicago that manufactures the Nuestro Queso brand of Mexican cheeses and other high-quality dairy products.
ABASTO MAGAZINE: WHEN DID YOU ARRIVE IN THE US?
Berenice Tenorio: Through a professional international exchange program I had the opportunity to apply for jobs abroad and in 2004 I got an opportunity here in the United States to work in the Hispanic food industry in the sales area.
WHEN DID YOU BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR AND CEO OF NUESTRA CocINA BRANDS?
Berenice Tenorio: In 2013 the opportunity arose after ten years of being in the industry. The entrepreneurial spirit was something that I had always brought with me and I already felt ready to take the next step. I took the risk and jumped in.
HOW DID YOU achieve the positioning OF Nuesta Cocina Brands’ dairy products?
Berenice Tenorio: We took on the task of listening to the consumer, we did different focus groups to test the product; from the taste, color, texture, as well as the brand name and logo design. The conclusion was that the ethnic market likes quality over price and we took on the task of having a line of very high-quality products. We initially reached 150 clients in Chicago and once established in the Midwest, we began to expand to other regions, currently having a presence in 22 states.
WHAT DIFFERENCES YOU FROM THE COMPETITION?
Berenice Tenorio: The great differentiator is the quality with which we make our products. The milk we use is free of artificial hormones, we do not use preservatives or artificial ingredients, they are Non-GMO and it is also very important that all our dairy products are made under sustainable processes that help preserve the environment.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS?
Berenice Tenorio: Success as a company is having been accepted by consumers in both markets, ethnic and Anglo, and this has been not only because of the taste and quality, but mainly because we guarantee that we are offering a safe product with all the certifications we have by SQF. As a person, the greatest success I have had is having lost my fear, I like to take risks and I have focused on listening to my passion and my dreams as an entrepreneur.
WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THIS 2022?
Berenice Tenorio: In 2022 we are going to focus a lot on social responsibility by offering scholarships to students. Education changed my life and Nuestra Cocina wants to contribute by changing the lives of low-income students in our community.