In Mexican-American cuisine, grains, like corn and wheat, are both common ingredients. They make up the base of tortillas, for example, as well as chips and tacos. So it’s unsurprising that, when Veronica Garza was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and had to change her diet, she was more than a little concerned that she would miss out on some of her favorite culinary traditions.

But instead of settling for lettuce leaves in the place of tacos or tortillas, she decided to make versions of Mexican-American classic dishes that she could eat, without the grains. And this kitchen experiment eventually evolved into a brand—and a hugely popular one at that. Garza is now the president of Siete Foods and her younger brother, Miguel, is also a co-founder and CEO. Garza’s parents and four other siblings also continue to help run Siete Foods alongside them. While the family grew up in the southern Texas city of Laredo on the Mexico-US border, the brand is now based in Austin.

“I knew we had something really special when my Grandma Campos told me that my tortillas tasted better than the homemade flour tortillas she’d made for decades,” Garza notes on the brand’s website. 

“My family knew that we couldn’t keep our delicious Mexican-American food to ourselves. So we’re delighted to share it with you in a variety of dietary offerings, from our table to yours.” —Veronica Garza

All of the brand’s offerings are, of course, grain-free, and all of them are vegan, too. Right now, you can find its lime tortilla chips, dairy-free queso puffs, avocado oil tacos, almond flour tortillas, and much more in major grocery stores, like Target and Walmart, across the US, as well as online at Amazon.

While it started from humble beginnings, Siete Foods is now worth around $500 million, and it has ambitious targets to grow even more. In fact, it’s already the fastest-growing Hispanic company in the US, and with a little help from Eva Longoria, it’s hoping to hit the $1 billion mark. But this is a partnership not just about money; through business, leadership, and funding, both Longoria and Garza are dedicated to uplifting the Latinx community across the US.

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Siete Foods, Eva Longoria, and uplifting the Latinx Community

Earlier this month, Siete Foods announced that Longoria had invested an undisclosed sum in the company, and would now serve as a strategic advisor. The Mexican-American actor, director, and philanthropist has launched several of her own business ventures, including the tequila brand Casa Del Sol and a cookware line called Risa.

In 2012, she also launched her own foundation to support Latin Americans in the US with education and entrepreneurship, and she shares this passion for uplifting the community with Garza.

Four years ago, Siete Foods launched its Juntos Fund, and through that fund, it aims to give away $2 million to Latina business founders.

“In this nation, there are over 2 million businesses with Latina founders, but Latinas only receive 2 percent of venture capital funds. We can help them find success,” Veronica Garza said to ’Fox 7.’

Businesses that have received support from the Juntos Fund so far include Nana’s Taqueria in Weslaco, Texas, and Comadre Panaderia and La Santa Barbacha in Austin.

Longoria–who has long been a big fan of Siete Foods’ products—resonates deeply with this mission. “As a fellow Texan who is dedicated to elevating Latinos in business, I’m very excited to partner with Siete and contribute to their next chapter,” she said in a statement. To Forbes, she explained that she would like to turn Siete Foods into a “food empire that celebrates our heritage, culturally inspired foods, and really shines a light on Latinos.”

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Garza—who has actually known Longoria for more than 30 years, after they met at a cheer camp—is also thrilled about the new partnership. “Siete represents a dream realized and gives us a platform to share our culture through food,” she said in a statement. “Now we have an incredible opportunity to shine a greater spotlight on Latino heritage and entrepreneurship through our partnership with Eva Longoria.”

The rest of the Garza family have welcomed Longoria to the Siete Foods team with open arms. “As her career has grown and she’s gone from acting on Desperate Housewives to directing Flamin’ Hot, we have watched her break glass ceilings and amplify Latino voices so that more Latinos could climb the ladder of success,” Miguel told Forbes.

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