When Adelo Ramirez came to America at age five with little money or resources, no one suspected that he would, by 2000, open a successful, critically acclaimed restaurant, Los Gemelos, in Port Chester, New York.
Ramirez worked three jobs, slept four hours a night, and saved up $40,000 of his own money so that he could use his passion for cooking to start a business.
By 2006, Ramirez had new ambitions: to manufacture tortillas for sale in local grocery stores. Not long after, he decided he wanted to become the biggest tortilla manufacturer in the world.
Unfortunately, that dream fell short. Though Ramirez's revenues approached half a million dollars shortly after he launched his tortilla line, by 2010, another large tortilla brand, Mission, had come to the east coast and "knocked us out big time," says Ramirez. Sales plummeted. Last year, Ramirez's revenue was just $220,000.