The Pinole Project is keeping this Aztec Superfood and Generational Legacy Alive
Pinole is an ancient food that goes back to the times of the Aztecs and has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s a type of toasted powdered corn which is a staple food of many Mexican Indian tribes. Both filling and nutritious, pinole is considered an energy food.
The Pinole Project, a family business inspired by the founder’s grandparents, Adela and Arsenio Jacquez. Ever since Maya Jazquez and her siblings were children, they would visit their grandparents’ humble ranch in Mexico every summer. Their abuela Adela’s pinole chia oatmeal recipe inspired The Pinole Project. She loved adding Pinole to her recipes for extra protein & fiber and years later, we all get to continue the tradition.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and flow.
What motivates you?
The love we have for our Mexican heritage and our grandparents. Our respect for them motivates us to spread their story and recipe to the world.
What do you like the most about running your own business?
The opportunity to spread my family legacy in a creative way. We love connecting with new people who try the product and are inspired by our heritage.
What is some advice you can offer aspiring entrepreneurs?
It’s a tough journey requiring grit, patience, and commitment. You must be truly passionate about the work because the process to grow a brand takes time.
What are some challenges you faced that you didn’t expect as an entrepreneur?
Finding the right partners to help carry out the mission (manufacturers, distribution) was more challenging than anticipated.
What are some challenges you did expect?
That the food industry is very competitive and it’s very important to clearly share your message with the world so people can easily see the value you bring.
What resources do you recommend for someone looking to start their own business?
Seek out mentorship from other entrepreneurs who are in the space you’re looking to enter. Learn from those who know more than you.
Tell us more about your products and where you source your materials/ingredients from.
We offer 3 flavors of Pinole: Chia Oatmeal Original, Banana Cinnamon, and Peanut Butter & Cacao. Our Pinole is made with high protein & fiber chia seeds and non-GMO heirloom corn, grown on the independent sustainable farms of Oaxaca, Mexico! We’re very proud of this corn! It’s healthy and helps Mexico’s economy. We add gluten-free oats, cinnamon, and other gluten-free and vegan ingredients to our Pinole, and Pinole Chia Oatmeal is the ideal pre & post-workout meal or breakfast for the busy day ahead!