April 12, 2024

5 Minutes with Fernando Rios of Guac and Roll

In our “5 Minutes with an Entrepreneur” series, we pass the mic to Michigan entrepreneurs…


A smiling person with a beard, wearing a beanie and glasses, holds up a jar of green juice. Their black shirt reads "Body by Chips & Guac." They are indoors, and partially visible are a phone and a countertop blender in front of them.

In our “5 Minutes with an Entrepreneur” series, we pass the mic to Michigan entrepreneurs we’ve supported to hear their stories, including the spark behind their businesses, their challenges, and what motivates them to keep going.

Based in Frankenmuth, Michigan, Guac and Roll specializes in crafting delicious guacamole and salsa using fresh, local ingredients. They’re driven by flavor, sustainability, community, and making snacking more enjoyable for everyone.  

Keep reading to hear business owner Fernando Rios share the importance of staying true to your business’ values, learning from failure, and how flavorful guacamole can bring the community together.   

What was the spark behind your business?  

The spark behind Guac and Roll was a shared passion for good food and a desire to bring people together through flavorful, locally sourced guacamole and salsa. We saw a gap in the market for fresh, high-quality options and knew we could fill it with our amazing approach to snacking. 

What’s the biggest challenge facing small good food businesses? 

Access to resources and support. This includes securing funding, navigating regulations and certifications, building distribution networks, and competing with larger, more established companies. Additionally, maintaining consistent quality while scaling production and meeting growing demand can be a significant challenge. However, with the right support, partnerships, and innovative approaches, small good food businesses can overcome these challenges and thrive in the marketplace. 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give other entrepreneurs? OR What’s one lesson you’ve learned that you’d pass onto others? 

Stay true to your passion and vision, even in the face of challenges or setbacks. Trust in yourself and your ideas, and don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. Additionally, surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors, advisors, and fellow entrepreneurs who can offer guidance, insights, and encouragement along the way. Remember, every obstacle is an opportunity for growth, and perseverance is key to success in the entrepreneurial journey. 

What motivates you?  

I’m motivated by the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world through our business. It’s providing people with delicious guacamole and salsas — seeing the joy and satisfaction on our customers’ faces when they enjoy our products is incredibly rewarding and fuels my passion for what we do. 

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made that other should avoid? 

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made, which I’d advise others to avoid, is being overly optimistic about timelines and budgets. It’s crucial to factor in unexpected delays and expenses when planning projects or launching new initiatives. By being more conservative in your estimates and allowing for flexibility, you can better navigate unforeseen challenges and avoid unnecessary stress or setbacks along the way. 

What’s the biggest ah-ha you’ve had? 

The biggest ah-ha moment for me was realizing the importance of staying true to our values as a business. By focusing on what sets us apart and what we believe in, we’ve been able to make smarter decisions and build a stronger company. 

What key qualities should an entrepreneur possess? 

Key qualities for entrepreneurs include resilience, adaptability, passion, persistence, creativity, leadership, resourcefulness, integrity, and vision. 

What advice would you give yourself as you were starting out? 

Trust your instincts, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, stay focused on your goals, and enjoy the journey. 

We are honored to support businesses like Guac and Roll by connecting them with opportunities and expertise to help them innovate, grow, and make a positive impact on our local food system.  

Interested in working with the Michigan Good Food Fund? See if your business is a good fit here.   

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