Our Origin Story
As told by Alex Muñoz
CSR’s origin story doesn’t start with me being bit by a radioactive spider or rocketing to Earth as a baby by parents who loved me while their planet was dying. It was much more mundane and had to do with that humble food that millions of Latin Americans eat every day: tamales. In 2002, I was bored and ready for a new change – having successfully moved from industry to industry (manufacturing, financial service and health information management) I had proved to myself that my approaches and methodologies worked regardless of the subject matter.
There are few things more frustrating than developing a plan of action and then having to wait for bureaucrats, pencil pushers and political obstructionists to align so that progress can be made. Working in Corporate America was full of these folks – in my time there, I was charged with turning divisions/SBUs around or starting brand new businesses. This agility was highly prized and needed but exhausting to implement with staff members for whom inertia was a cuddly warm blanket.
What does this have to do with tamales?
My children were in a school where a fellow parent had a similar career trajectory as mine, except he was a Mexican national. He had always thought that starting a traditional tamale company would be a neat product offering here in the States and would fill a niche that had not been addressed to date in the marketplace. Talk about a challenge – I didn’t even know what a tamale was, but it sure sounded interesting! From there, the essence of CSR was born: Development of a detailed and organized solution; Rapid implementation and feedback loop of results. Within 90 days, we had identified a USDA certified meat handling facility, selected and implemented a packaging system, hired and trained a workforce, gotten the entire operations function in play and sold into Whole Foods and Kroger! Not bad for some novices! Since 2002, we have been in both the profit and non-profit sectors. CSR has offered its service on both an international level as well as all over the US; since 2010, we have adopted a hyper-local approach and taken a deep-dive in the Atlanta metro area.