With three words in Spanish, “a todo pulmón (with all your breath) Relinda Vásquez describes how, in just six years, she became a successful owner of a Bravo Supermarket in Miami. Also, Vásquez is the only Board of Directors female member of the National Supermarket Association, Florida Chapter.
She is a young professional who, at first sight, looks like a college student, but when she starts talking about supermarkets, she is an earnest entrepreneur. Vásquez sounds and is an experienced trader, who knows every business detail, she is analytical and willing to give it all to succeed in the industry.
Relinda Vásquez History
Vasquez was born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic. She studied business administration, and although from a young age she was curious about the supermarket industry, in her first years as a professional, she worked in a different type of business until deciding to start her own company.
“The interest in the supermarket business was a passion that I developed over time. I was living in New York, and I was looking for a business opportunity. I found one in Miami, and that’s when I decided to get involved in this industry,” Vasquez said in an interview with Abasto magazine.
Back then, she did not know the supermarket industry thoroughly and was going to start fresh in a new city where nobody knew her, but still, Vasquez says she started working “full throttle” to fulfill her purpose.
“I remember the first months before buying the Bravo Supermarket; I wanted to work inside one to get to know all the aspects of running one. From knowing all the suppliers to gaining insights from the industry. That way, I could earn respect and get to know this new world a lot better,” Vásquez explained.
Thus she became the owner of the Bravo Supermarket, located at 5299 NE, 2nd Ave., in Miami, in the Buenavista area. The 16 thousand square feet store features a butcher section, bakery, and a fresh produce section. It has more than 40 employees, of which half are women.
For Vásquez, the first two years as the store owner were tough because the industry mostly dominated by men, and there are very few Hispanic and young women who run this type of business.
However, Vásquez prevented this situation from becoming a disadvantage. “It is hard to change the mentality of people, employees, and business partners that a person with a different background can become a successful business owner. But mentally, I was prepared and knew my ability and knew that I had to give one hundred percent to be able to comply.”
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Reflecting, she says that the most challenging task is to form a team, then move forward and deliver everything.
That is why the business has her complete attention. However, Vásquez does not rule out that later, when the company can run own its own, without her constant supervision, she may decide to dedicate time to start a family.
Likewise, four years ago, Vásquez joined the National Supermarket Association, Florida Chapter, and is currently the only Latina woman who owns a supermarket that is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hispanic independent supermarket association.
Proud of her own success she has achieved as a businesswoman, Vásquez sends a message of encouragement to other Hispanic women who want to open their own businesses: “To all women who have a dream or who want something, I say: work and fight for it, the moment the opportunity presents itself, you will know how to manage the resources, time and skills to achieve your dreams”