Ruby Red Ventures Winner

H-E-B Million Dollar Club

Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Pilar Gonzalez began making her prized snack food, Dip It by Pilar, out of her home in Mission, Texas in 2010. A single mother of three children, Gonzalez blended fresh ingredients and yogurt to create the 100‑percent natural product, which features eight distinct flavors including jalapeño, cilantro, chipotle, green olive, and piquin pepper. 

Eager to build an empire, Gonzalez entered the Mission EDC’s Ruby Red Ventures contest for small businesses and was awarded first prize. 

Now, the Mission native is a two-time Ruby Red Ventures award winner, using the competition prize to build her company and expand operations across the state. To date, her product has been featured in over 100 H-E-B stores, as well as Spec’s wine and liquor stores across Texas.

In 2019, Gonzalez was awarded “Woman Owned Small Business of the Year” by the U.S. Small Business Administration of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. 

Dip It by Pilar is also a member of the H-E-B Million Dollar Club, awarded to businesses that have reached over $1 million in sales across H-E-B stores.

In 2014, Gonzalez took a leap of faith and registered to participate in the Ruby Red Ventures Competition, a Mission Economic Development Corporation initiative encouraging local entrepreneurs to launch or expand innovative ventures. That leap resulted in Gonzalez winning first place and a $25,000 prize. This sizable price allowed Gonzalez to expand, moving the dip it operations from her home kitchen to her garage, a short but important step.

Gonzalez’ vision, perseverance, and business savvy had taken her small, woman-owned business from its humble beginnings in Deep South Texas to places even she could not have imagined while bringing her vision to life in her kitchen.

Slowing down is not an option for Gonzalez, either. She has returned to the kitchen to create, currently developing new dip it flavors for H-E-B.  One of Gonzalez’ greatest strengths is perseverance, and it has paid off. 

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