My name is Diane Vo, a 30-year-old Vietnamese-American born and raised in Houston. I am the founder of La Dulce Factory, a boutique candy business specializing in Mexican 'Chamoy' flavors. As a formerly trusted caterer and elementary school teacher, I thought of creative ways to explore my passion and interests, which led to starting my own small business. At the time, I had recently accepted a full-time position as an HR Manager which kept me busy throughout the week.
When I began getting serious about creating and selling candy, many people doubted me. They would tell me, "there's too much competition!", "This is just going to be hype." But I thought if I didn't do it, someone else will. I was hesitant thinking, "What would people think if they knew I was a Vietnamese woman who made and sold Mexican chamoy candy?" or "Should I just remain an anonymous owner and keep it a mystery." Houston is known for its diversity and culture, and I knew it had the clientele. I decided to break through stereotypical barriers and showcase who I am.
At the start of the pandemic, I had some free time to experiment and take a leap. Growing up as a Vietnamese-American, I would eat crunchy, ripe, green mangoes and guava with Muối Ớt (Vietnamese for Chili salt). Boredom and curiosity took over, and I devoted many long hours researching and experimenting with ways to make sweet and sour chamoy snacks. My interest grew, and I finally decided to invest hundreds of dollars in various spices and candy brands to find the best quality. I thought, "If I wouldn't eat it myself, why would I sell it to someone else?" My goal was to create the absolute best chamoy candy out there. My business' vision is for customers to feel a sense of happiness and satisfaction as the flavor of my chamoy candy is relished in every bite. Upon La Dulce Factory's initial launch, I did not imagine selling any more than 2-3 candy boxes a week. However, after my first month of initiation, my candy attained a long waitlist of buyers, and I sold over $10k worth of candy. Day after day, I pushed myself to work harder and to become an inspiration for other similar entrepreneurial business woman. Now, at a year and a half later, my chamoy candy is sold in 14 stores and shipping nationwide online at Today, people are still shocked when they find out I am an Asian-American woman selling Mexican chamoy candy.
I don't think any entrepreneur is ever 100% ready or knows what they are doing completely. You just have to jump and be willing to learn every day. There were many trial and error lessons throughout my journey, and I can't thank my supportive friends, family, and mentors enough for the times I felt like giving up. Starting a new business is simple, but sustaining and growing the business is challenging.

Entrepreneurship and hustling takes dedication and commitment, and I'm happy I made a move. Always believe in yourself and stay hungry! 

1 comment

  • Nancie

    I’m from California . My cousin Annie Bui introduced me to your candies and I’ve been hooked since.

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