10/11/2013 09:07 am ET

Winning Hispanic Customers Takes A Little Homework


DURHAM — Iris Ramírez Reese made a promise to right a wrong after she asked a Food Lion employee where she could find traditional Puerto Rican seasoning and sodas.

“They directed me to the Taco Bell box, and they were calling it the Spanish food section,” said Ramírez Reese, who owns Fusión Multicultural Marketing & Communications, a Durham firm that focuses on marketing to the Hispanic community. “So I made a conscious decision that I need to help this company to bring my food here, my products here.”

That was 1998, a year after Ramírez Reese and her husband moved to Durham from New York, where she was raised by her parents and grandparents. She was the first in her Puerto Rican family born on the U.S. mainland.

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