The Latino Chamber of Commerce celebrates Latino businesses

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce held an event Saturday to celebrate the contributions that Latino business owners are making statewide.

The night included dinner, entertainment and remarks from CEO and President Jessica Cavazos. She said the event has not been held in three years and she is happy this moment is finally happening.

“It’s very important to me. I’ve been crying because it is so emotional. Someone told me that we would not be able to have as many people as we have right now. There’s only about like 60,000 Latinos in Central Wisconsin and I feel like I proved them wrong,” Cavasos said.

Cavasos explained that there are many businesses represented through the event.

“We have Venezuelan, Mexican, Cuban, Columbian, Peruvian–Madison is so rich in its culture and this is really the platform to bring it out. Where we tell people of our businesses, are community, the foundation and our traditions,” Cavasos said.

One of the awards among the many handed out was to 9-year-old Alison Hernandez, who is the face of her parents’ own restaurant El Gran Taco Gato in Madison. Hernandez helped her family serve customers and she creates TikToks to help bring in business. She said that after her parents lost their jobs and opened their restaurant during the pandemic, she admired the dedication of her mother. Today she walked away with the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year award.

For one family a dream became a lifestyle. Carlos and Carolina Vasquez won Family-Owned Business of the Year. Carolina originally from Nicaragua came to the US twelve years ago pursuing the American dream but along the way she met her husband Carlos who is also her business parker. The family has one restaurant in Platteville and another in the Richland center. The family also owns a tortilla bakery that they created during the pandemic.

Two women born and raised in Columbia came to Verona to create a coffee shop with their husbands. During the pandemic Laura and Sara Serrato thought it would be nice to serve the public with a popular morning drink. The women not only offer a warm cup of joe, but they have decided to make their shop a safe place for culture, music and art. The families took home the Incubator of the Year award.

There were two entrepreneur awards given to Kattia Jimenez and Hector Rivera. Jimenez graduated from college and pursued a career in public health. She is now working for the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health where she founded and sole owner of Mount Horeb Hemp, LLC. Mount Horeb Hemp is a small hemp farm located in south central Wisconsin.

Rivera graduated with a construction management degree and began his career in Waunakee. Over the years he mastered his skills in drywalling and painting. He lost his job in the pandemic and now has his own business called Rivera Construction and Services.

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