We had the good fortune of connecting with Venancio Mendez Levy, Wilmer Baron and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Venancio Mendez Levy, Wilmer Baron, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My friend and I share the same Venezuelan origin. Both of us came to the US at an early age, but we grew up eating the same meals our grandma’s used to make back in our country. While going to college, the time that we had to cook and meal prep was very limited. Meaning that either we had to spend tons of money eating out or take a full day to just prepare food for the week. Given our tight budgets and strict schedules, we knew there had to be a better way.
It was during the pandemic that Wilmer called me one day and said “what do you think of a meal prep business that would deliver traditional south American foods to Latino students” After 20 seconds of thinking about it, I said “Let’s do it”
Once we realized this was a great opportunity to tap into the growing online food retail industry, we started researching about opening our own food business. 1 year later, Bodego Market has become an online platform for finding authentic Latin sauces and foods. As we continue to expand, we hope that our roots in traditional Latin recipes help us continue to serve our ever-growing community.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Venancio Mendez: I am a civil engineer who graduated from Texas A&M University. I am currently working for Webber/Ferrovial Construction as a field engineer in the I-10 expansion project in Houston TX. My passion for Civil engineering is linked to my passion for making the world a better place. As cliche as it may sound, we all have our way make an impact and improve the things around us. And that’s what I want to demonstrate to my co-workers and managers every single day.
I am a young engineer with over 1 year of experience, but I am obsessed with giving my very best every day I am out there in the field. I am not satisfied with just doing the bare minimum to get things done. If I am going to be a part of something, I will give my heart and soul to make it succeed.
I have learned that discipline, perseverance, and vision will take you a long way if you believe in the process. Nothing comes immediately, it takes time, effort, motivation, and dedication to achieve what you want. If you are part of a team, a business or, an organization, feel empowered by that responsibility to make an impact and inspire others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite spot in the city is the Memorial Hermann Park in the Museum District of Houston. Then I would take them to spin le top, a restaurant in downtown Houston that spins in the top of the building as you are having dinner. At night I would take to Secret Garden, a spot in downtown Houston to offers great drinks.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Venancio Mendez: My dad Carlos Mendez and my mon Yannett Levy, have always inspired me to do the best I can for society. While grew up, my parents encouraged me to think outside the box and to give my best in any activity I would be involved in. I think that the sense of thriving was thought to me from a young age. Without these values, I wouldn’t have been able to be where I am today.
My best example of entrepreneurship was my dad. After having graduated from college, he worked a couple of years for General Electric, just to realize that he needed to start working for his own dreams. Then he went on to start his own engineering firm.
Having this example in my life has motivated me to get out of my comfort zone to start pursuing my own dreams and aspirations. My dad passed away 5 years ago, but his lessons and encouragement remain as vivid as ever. Thanks, Dad!