Family and food
After witnessing her father practice law and help families in the Rio Grande Valley, Linda Garza knew she wanted to follow in his footsteps.
Garza graduated from the Moody College of Communication in 1997 with a degree in journalism. She loved her time at Moody College and was involved in comm council and appreciated the small class environment.
"It was an easy transition to law school because of my communication classes," Garza said. "I had been practicing (basically) for four years my writing skills, and communication and oral communication skills. I did really well in law school. I was really good in my legal research and writing class. I did well in my mock trial classes."
After spending most of her career prosecuting sexual assault and abuse cases in the Laredo area, she found herself a single mom of four by herself. Her siblings and parents had moved to Austin for the family business, Siete Family Foods. In March of 2018, she decided to leave the Rio Grande Valley and joined Siete Family Foods as a legal counsel.
"I went from reading police reports and looking at autopsy photos to reading contracts and influencer agreements and stuff like that. It's a totally different area, but still using the same skills that I acquired in undergrad and just applying them a little differently to different areas," Garza said.
Siete Family Foods was born out of a dietary necessity. Co-founder and Garza’s sister, Veronica, was gluten intolerant. Veronica went to the work in the kitchen to figure out a way to continue eating one of the most important parts of their meals -- the tortilla.
"As a family, we always gather in the kitchen. When Veronica made her first gluten-free tortilla, the first thing she did was come and share it with all of us and we really loved it," Garza said. "Food's always been a significant part of the way that we share the love with each other. We wanted to support her journey to better health. And it was better for us because, in turn, we all were getting healthier as well."
The mission of Siete Family Foods is to boldly build the leading Mexican American food brand, founded on a culture of humility, diversity and love. They also have a foundation that directly supports underserved communities through education, entrepreneurship and wellness.
"We built this community of people that put family first, the family second, and business third. And when we talk about family that goes beyond the Garza Seven, we mean every single member of the company. It’s a philosophy that we live by," Garza said.
Everyone in Garza's immediate family attended The University of Texas at Austin and still watch football games together. Garza enjoys working with her family every day.
"I always joke and say that Mike, Vero, and my mom are the bosses from eight to five. But after five, I'm the big sister and I get to be the boss again. My parents raised us to love each other and to put family first," Garza said. "We were the family where all of the siblings woke up at 5 a.m. and slept under the Christmas tree, waiting to wake up our parents to open the presents. That’s how we approach everything. We have each other's backs all the time.
"We're all very proud to be UT alumni and we all received a great education from UT and have been able to use the skills that we acquired, and the knowledge that we acquired there to help build this wonderful business."