En Español. On January 19, 2023, Pepsico’s Senior Sales Manager, David Hamilton, and Beverage Sales Rep, Nicky Franklin, presented Imelda Hartley, Phoenix College Student Senator, a $10,000 check to support her business, Imelda’s Happy Tamales, one of 220 local and minority-owned small businesses chosen as an approved supplier of Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona this February 12, 2023. As a Super Bowl sponsor, Pepsico staff heard Imelda’s story and “wanted to provide her an opportunity to grow her business,” remarked Ms Franklin. Pepsico’s program Juntos Crecemos: Jefa-Owned is designed to support Latina-owned restaurants, bodegas, and carnicerías.
The award presentation, held at Ignite Phoenix, a co-working space where Imelda has been a member for two years, was filled with Imelda’s supporters including Jorge Mendoza-Yescas, Consular General of Mexico in Phoenix, Carmen Martinez, Creative Director of Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Reyna Monge of La Reyna Radio, a Spanish late night radio show, and Heather Reaume, Student Senator at Paradise Valley Community College.
In the short term, Imelda said, “The $10,000 grant will allow me to buy a food truck.” Yet, it’s the one-on-one coaching from digital experts that offers real long-term impact. “A team of people from Pepsico has been working with me for weeks,” Imelda said of her website upgrades. “Visitors can now place orders on my website.” Pepsico’s David Hamilton added: “The digital coaching supports how the Jefa-owned businesses show up online. We help owners with the avenues like the add-on feature, which helps drive revenue with online sales.” Pepsico’s $50 million investment over a five-year period offers select businesses to work with a team of advisors to level up delivery logistics, technology, marketing, and Search Engine Optimization.
Imelda’s Happy Tamales is one of four local restaurants and three bodegas being supported by Pepsico in Phoenix. Imelda was also awarded the exclusive Jefa-owned neon sign, which celebrates the heart and soul Latinas bring to the table. What makes a Jefa? According to Pepsico, “a Jefa is a Latina boss that breaks down barriers and never gives up on her dreams, her community, or her family.” Anyone who has met Imelda or heard her story knows she never gives up. In her remarks at the check presentation, she said she has never allowed herself to play the role of the victim even after years of domestic abuse. But, she is ready to play the role of the hero. “I have always been a woman of dreams, but also a woman of opportunities.” This opportunity from Pepsico continues to present Imelda as the happy and hard-working role model she has been to so many: her kids, Phoenix College students and staff, and community entrepreneurs.
Follow Imelda’s adventures on Instagram @imeldahappytamales.