La prensa

Roxana Rodriguez: Hustle Like a Diabla

Created: 24 August, 2017
Updated: 13 September, 2023
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6 min read

La Diabla Michelada creator Roxana Rodriguez

As a long-time San Diego resident, Roxana “Roxy” Rodriguez knows a good beer and, of course, a good michelada.

Rodriguez is the creator, owner, and distributor of La Diabla Michelada Mix, a mixed-drink product which makes a delicious Mexican beer cocktail.

Born in Los Angeles, Rodriguez told La Prensa San Diego that she and her family arrived in 1992 in search of a better future, as living in the Venice Beach area was hard at the time.

Rodriguez always had the goal of owning her own business but self doubt and a mild learning disability which limits her writing skills weighed down on her mindset.

“I always wanted to own a business, but I never thought I was smart enough to be able to understand business processes,” she remembered.

Rodriguez’s micheladas were always the life of the party, and something she enjoyed making for everyone.

“I love micheladas and I started making my own little recipe and was making micheladas everywhere I went, like at gatherings or parties,” Rodriguez shared.

Eventually, in 2014, Rodriguez entered the drink mix market when a distant relative invited her to work as a salesperson for the michelada mix company he owned.

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“He had his own (company) and he hired me to sell his product and I thought that I might as well sell his mix since I didn’t even know where to start with mine,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez made sales for this company and would later invest in the product. Upon the mix seeing a small success, Rodriguez’s relative fired her and cut off contact with her.

“He didn’t answer or even reply to me after I invested in his product,” she confessed.

Rodriguez entered a depressive episode, in which she had a revelation just when things looked their darkest.

“I asked myself, ‘what am I doing?’ I have my own amazing product. Why don’t I (run a business) myself?” she shared. “Right then and there I said I’m going to do it and I Googled where to get ingredients and began playing with my recipe.”

With the help of her niece, Rodriguez recorded the final measurements and multiplied her personal formulas to make bigger batches of her michelada mix, going from making a cup at a time to making several bottles at once.

Word started getting out about her michelada mix. Rodriguez said that everyone who tried her michelada mix said she needed to get her product mix into stores.

“People would ask me where to buy it and tell me that it needed be in stores and I would say but I didn’t know how to do those things at the time,” Rodriguez explained.

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“One day I called a couple of friends and just sold to them. I didn’t know how to get into stores so I sold out of my car I’d meet people here and there to sell out of my car,” she added.

As business slowly picked up, Rodriguez began to develop, a close friend’s brother became interested in doing sales.

“So he sees that I’m starting a business and asked me to be a partner. He was business savvy which I wasn’t,” Rodriguez stated. “I am a hustler and will work my heart off, but I thought couldn’t do the brains aspect of it back then.”

Rodriguez believed that her partner’s family bonds and closeness to Rodriguez would make this person trustworthy. However, she would soon learn that she had made a mistake.

As paperwork began to be filed, this new partner would list himself as the owner on forms for a tax id number, CPA forms, and other vital documents.

“Everything listed him as the owner and me as the co-owner. He would make copies and give me the ones with me as the owner, but was filing forms with him as the owner,” Rodriguez explained.

However, this person would speak of what he was doing to others, which lead to Rodriguez finding out.

“Someone from his circle called me and told me what was happening and told me to pay attention to the paperwork and to not sign any more papers,” she recalled. “So I called my brother in law to look at the papers and then called this person and asked him why he appeared as the owner.”

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With this treason caught just in time, Rodriguez and her brother in law were able to resubmit everything and fix the misfilings. The company got their tax ID, trademarks, a commercial kitchen to manufacture out of, and all things needed to operate.

Since then, things have looked up for Rodriguez. Despite occasional setbacks like dips in sales or other issues, she and her business have always found a way to come back, with Rodriguez being the one person in control of everything.

“The mix is everywhere and I do almost everything related to it: I make it, I get the accounts, and I distribute it. My family helps me here and there, but it’s my heart and my mind that I put into it,” Rodriguez declared. “It’s all me.”

La Diabla is currently distributed all over Southern California. Rodriguez tells that she makes regular sales to stores from San Ysidro and Chula Vista all the way up through Inglewood and Riverside.

La Diabla’s product line has also grown, incorporating a chelada recipe without a tomato base, a spicy glass rim dip, and other seasonings for drinks.

Despite expanding in sales, presence, and products, Rodriguez is close to fulfilling another one of her dreams.

“I have another dream to own a bar but I used to believe I could never have the capital to do it,” she shared. “But since my product is so amazing why not have it at my own bar?”

La Diabla Michelada Bar is planned to open in November. So far, Rodriguez has already been offered craft beers for her to showcase at her bar and to mix with her secret recipe.

Article - Uber

Rodriguez is also close to finalizing the bar’s food menu, which will feature fresh ceviche and some of her mom’s favorite dishes.

Through hard work and lots of determination, Rodriguez has been able to succeed and reach two of her dreams despite all the self doubt and obstacles that have been thrown her way.

“I reached my dream on a dime and a nickel so don’t ever doubt yourself. If you have a dream don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it,” Rodriguez closed. “There were hard times, there were times when I cried and times when I wanted to give up but I stuck wit it. I continued to push because this is my dream and I was not going to fail.”

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