The story of Veronica Moreno, CEO of Olé Mexican Foods, reads like a tale of the American dream realized. Her drive and her devotion to quality have propelled Olé to a level of success few could hope for. From a humble start as a street-corner tortilla vendor, Ms. Moreno has grown her company into one of the largest tortilla manufacturers in the U.S. In 2011, the company had 750 employees and revenues of $219 million.
Ole got its start in 1988 when Ms. Moreno, a native of Mexico, saw demand in the Atlanta area for authentic Mexican-style tortillas. Although Ms. Moreno didn’t know how to manufacture, market or distribute tortillas, she felt she could use the skills she’d learned from her mother and grandmother to meet that demand.
"I learned as I went along, and there were some very tough lessons along the way," she says. "We bought a plant with some simple equipment and a small client list and I just figured it out as we got orders."
After three years in business, Olé launched a successful line of flour tortillas, followed by the Xtreme Wellness line dreamed up by her husband, Eduardo. Her family members played an important part in launching Olé, and continue to fill critical roles in the company.