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Jessica Viciconte, founder and CEO of La Porteña. Photo credit: La Porteña.
Jessica Viciconte, founder and CEO of La Porteña. Photo credit: La Porteña.

LEAP announces La Porteña Foods as its first winner

Latino Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (LEAP) helps support the next generation of minority Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG).

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On Feb. 1, Brazi Bites, Latin-inspired gluten-free foods, announced the winner of its first Latino Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (LEAP). La Porteña Foods, a Portland-based chimichurri company, will receive a $10,000 grant and 12 weeks of mentorship with Junea Rocha, Brazi Bites co-founder and CMO. The company will also get access to resources from the Brazi Bites team across different departments. 

Jessica Viciconte, founder and CEO of La Porteña, said of the announcement, “It is a huge honor to be chosen as the inaugural winner of LEAP. As a fellow Portland-based company, I’m very familiar with Brazi Bites and find Junea’s story incredibly inspiring.”

“Starting this company through the pandemic has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences, and I feel proud of what I have accomplished so far. With this prize and mentorship, I can take the next step to grow my business and introduce this incredible product to more consumers in the Northwest and beyond,” she added.

Five finalists were also picked:

  • Vamigas: “A green, fragrance-free, botanical and superfood beauty brand created by Latinas who are on a mission to reclaim the cultural identities of Latin American ingredients.”
  • Hot Mama Salsa: “Hand-produced fresh salsas, hot sauces, Mexican style chili oils, and tortilla chips using traditional ethnic cooking methods, whole peppers, and fresh local ingredients.”
  • Rif Care: “A first-of-its-kind women’s wellness company focused on Gen-Z hormone health by making the first period care out of hemp fiber.”
  • Ice Queen: “A Chicana and Native-owned company that makes vegan paletas, recreating childhood memories at the paleteria and introducing the community to the concept of paletas.”
  • I Eat My Greens: “Clean, nutrient-dense, whole veggie soups that use flavorful herbs to create unique, mouthwatering flavors never seen in the market.”

“During this first year launching LEAP, our team has been blown away by the incredible applications we received from entrepreneurs nationwide. Our entire team came together to thoughtfully read through each and every application, and sample products, giving us the chance to take part in the process as a collective,” said Rocha.

She continued, “We are thrilled with our chosen winner and finalists, and I look forward to sharing my expertise and supporting La Porteña over the coming months.”

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