Serving a higher purpose by positively impacting people and creating ideal solutions through an entrepreneurial experience, Marisa Lazo, the Founder and Director of Pastelerías Marisa is leading her successful business and making a difference.
Despite having studied psychology, Marisa was carried away by her passion for desserts. It all started in her kitchen when she sold a cake to a friend, and then the demand grew until she bought an oven and put it in the garage.
Her ambitious nature drove her to the path of entrepreneurship and five years later, Marisa opened her first store to reach new customers and grow a business. Along with her second store, she also opened a small factory making different and better products.
About Pastelerías Marisa
In 2022, Pastelerias Marisa will hit its 30th year in business. It currently has 95 branches, including Pastelería Tía Lola and Dolce Natura, adding a group of more than 1,100 collaborators.
Today, the organization manufactures more than 50,000 products per week. But most importantly, she remembers being excited since she was selling 40 cakes a week, then 400, then 4,000. Marisa never gets tired of enjoying every day, no matter what comes the way; or how big the company is.
Living a Life filled with Value and Purpose
Marisa’s father was a criminal lawyer, and her mother volunteered at a low-income dispensary. Since her early days, her parents taught her to be passionate about work and never stop learning and investing in education to become a better leader.
Sharing is one of the values that most governs me, and it is one of the pillars for the company, her favorite phrase from the Dalai Lama is “Generosity generates abundance”. Marisa’s philosophy is building a business that will benefit all who collaborate in it. She loves bestowing professionals with quality jobs, with internal high schools, private doctors, dignifying their homes, supporting their children, and more. With all these initiatives, the organization focuses on improving its employees’ lives and making them happy.
Becoming a Business Leader
Marisa’s sweet tooth grabbed her the marvelous business opportunity to get paid to do something she loved. Her business mantra is to never be in debt. “I aimed to grow with what my business gave me, and I would continue to reinvest with the money saved. To this day I have never asked for a loan, don’t have an inheritance or a business partner. It is one of the most correct decisions I have made on my way. I have always focused a lot on my value equation. That people pay for a highly valued product, and this generates a buyback”.
One of the biggest challenges has always been to prepare and upgrade with current situations and times, study to be a better leader, and seek improvement holistically. Also, the other challenge has been to maintain production in an artisanal way, offering homemade cakes with the same ingredients that Marisa used at home. The key to her success is offering the same quality for 30 years despite having almost 100 branches.
Leveraging Technology for Efficient System
Marisa incorporates a strong eCommerce strategy to be able to sell all around the country (México), as well as using big data for decision making. Develop a good supply chain solution to be in more delivery platforms. Currently, the organization is working with Rappi, a Colombian delivery app top-rated in the region.
Marisa’s Professional Journey
When Marisa started her organization, she knew nothing about the business world. Her journey of becoming a successful business leader has been a satisfying experience.
She became fearless by constantly learning, trying to be a better leader, sharing her learning, believing in herself, and seeking to permeate her knowledge with the leaders within the company. She measures her success with the benefit and positive impact she brings to the community.
“I am a very spiritual person, I like Buddhist philosophy, and within this path, I recognize that within my leadership style, I have included matters such as mindfulness, breathing, emotion management, compassion and that has served me well. I have two daughters, both of whom have been
working within the company since they were in college. Contrary to what experts recommend, who say that the children of company directors should seek positions in other companies for a couple of years before they get involved in the family business. But I needed them to be around to give me feedback and help me in the business.”
Guiding the Team to Stay Motivated and Productive
Marisa motivates her team with organizational culture, where the employees can experiment and make mistakes to grow and learn. “I have made various mistakes and I come forward to them and let them know that I have failed, and that is completely normal and okay. And second, I try to remind them of our purpose as a company. That we not only sell cakes, cookies, and jellies, but we bring happy moments to people and families, we not only generate sales.”
One of the objectives of the organization is to give cakes to civil associations and NGOs. When the employees know that they are donating more and more and helping the less fortunate with the products, they are proud to belong to a company that helps others.
Winning Prestigious Honours
Marisa has received numerous awards and recognitions, among which are: 2015 ENDEAVOR de México business career, EY Entrepreneur of the year 2016. She was the first woman to receive the Mercury Business Merit Award 2011 awarded by the National Chamber of Commerce of Guadalajara and the Jalisco 2020 Prize in the Labor field awarded by the Government of the State of Jalisco. In 2019, she was the first woman to preside over the LATAM Regional Council of YPO (Young Presidents Organization). She is currently President of the Board of the Instituto
Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara, being the first woman to hold this position. Marisa has come a long way with no reference to the business world and starting from scratch and currently being recognized throughout Mexico.
“What makes me most proud is having grown people from within the company, and they have started from scratch with me and now they are great leaders and managers.”
An Insightful Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Along with passion and love for work, it requires perseverance, discipline, doing things well, making the right decisions for a long time, saving, and having excellent business finances to become a successful entrepreneur. So, initially start small, learn how the company works, and build accordingly.
A start-up is not a company, it is a laboratory, where experiments are carried out and little by little the perfect product is found and the way to distribute it correctly to achieve success. Be emotionally intellectual, grow with people, and be compassionate and empathetic.
An Existing Picture of the Current Landscape
Keep Innovating – always listen and be attentive to the customers, be it buying products without sugar, without gluten, different flours, and more. Have a flexible culture to modify and adapt the product to the current market. Cookies, cakes, and more products have become a distinctive gift within the city for almost every occasion and people.
Spreading Wings to Reach New Places
“I envision myself not as the CEO, one of my daughters will take the place, I will be the chairman of the board, in about 10 years. Shortly, I see my company with presence all over the country (Mexico), and not so near future, with presence in the US and a few countries in Latin America”, concludes Marisa.