Maria de Lourdes Sobrino stumbled upon the idea of selling ready-made gelatin products in cups after failing to find the products in the United States. A favorite dessert in her native Mexico, Maria felt that there’s a huge market, though untapped, in the United States for delicious gelatin, flan and rice pudding desserts.
In 1982, she opened LuLu’s Dessert to sell gelatin desserts in a cup she made from her mom’s recipe in Torrance, California.
Given that the American market is not yet familiar with the product, she initially focused on first generation Mexican immigrants who know the concept of “gelatina.” Even supermarkets only agreed to sell her products if it is on a consignment basis. Her biggest break came in 1999 when Wal-Mart agreed to sell some of her product lines.
Today, the company she started, Lulu’s Dessert, has grown to become a $10 million business. Her delicious products are now sold in grocery stores (in the refrigerated section) as well as in her online store http://www.lulusdessert.com/. She even exports her dessert to her native Mexico! Maria has also published her book “Thriving Latina Entrepreneurs in America.”
That’s sweet success in a cup!