Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The New Supermercado Latino.

Las Fabulosas: Success

By Letisha Marrero for Las Fabulosas

Pregnancy cravings are no joke. But try being a pregnant Latina foodie. That’s what 27-year-old Venezolana-Italiana Melissa Berthier experienced last year. Since her Mexican-Lebanese esposo, Alfonso, no longer was an executive at Mexicana airlines who could lavish her with dulces from Latin America, what could a food-obsessed couple do to satisfy mami-to-be’s authentic cravings?

It took about nine months, but on the same day their daughter Sabrina was born, another entity was birthed: Mister Gallo, the mascot for LatinBag.com, the new parents’ e-commerce site that would launch a few weeks later in October 2010. The Berthiers had tapped into a nostalgia market for authentic comidas Latinas. So, they now offer to bag the groceries from your homeland for you, with customers as far away as South Korea and Australia.

The Bethesda, Md., couple balances fulfilling orders daily between day jobs: Melissa works for Metro in Washington, D.C., and Alfonso owns a distribution company. LatinBag is a work in progress -- from shipping and tracking, to storage and inventory. Now raising a growing toddler, Melissa concedes, “There is no such thing as spare time.” But her job provides stability and health insurance, as they’d like to have another child. Eventually, however, they’d like to devote themselves full-time to LatinBag and expand their inventory. “I’d love to sell authentic Oaxaca cheese,” says Melissa. “But it’s a matter of storing it properly.” So for now, LatinBag stocks an assortment of dry and canned goods, as well as pan dulce, café, candy, spices and more goodies to satisfy those cravings -- whether you’re pregnant or not.

Letisha Marrero has contributed to Latina, The Source, iVillage.comParentsConnect.com and MomsLikeMe.com. She is also a contributing author to Border-line Personalities: A New Generation of Latinas Dishes on Sex, Sass, and Cultural Shifting.

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