From jobless to having his own business

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Refi Rodruigez sitting on top a RefiSnacks Van underneath a RefiSnacks billboard

Refi Snacks owner recovers after pandemic cost two retail jobs

The original article by Julie Drake was published on on Oct 20, 2022

PALMDALE — After Refugio Rodriguez lost his two retail jobs during the pandemic, he started his own business, Refi Snacks.

Refi Snacks sells candy infused with chamoy, a tamarind-based sour and tangy sauce in the Latino culture that is often used in drinks. Refi Snacks’ product line includes vegan options.

“I wanted to really capitalize on bringing that experience to the AV,” Rodriguez said of the vegan candy.

Rodriguez sold his candy at the Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival. He also has a booth at The BLVD Market, the City of Lancaster’s weekly farmer market, which is Thursdays from April to October.

“We’ve also had the opportunity of working with the City of Lancaster,” Rodriguez said. “They have helped my business tremendously by having me at every event.”

Refi Snacks is billed as The Original Wet Candy. The candy comes in an eight-ounce tub and is completely drenched in chamoy. They recently launched a pink drink, a pineapple strawberry-infused Fresca with a rim made from the homemade chamoy sauce.

The Refi Rim is available at Lucky Luke’s Lancaster and Palmdale locations and Don Sal Cocina & Cantina on Lancaster Boulevard.

Refi Snacks will celebrate its second anniversary, on Nov. 19.

“We’re in the works of hopefully moving into a location, in January,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, 24, moved to the Antelope Valley before his junior year of high school. He graduated from Palmdale High School, in 2016.

“We make our candy with love and we package it with love as well,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is serious about his company’s success.

“We’re trying to be a legit company,” he said. “I’m not just a kid selling candy. I think a lot of people think that, but I’m trying to really launch into my brand.”

Refi Snacks is on Instagram at @refisnacks. The company went from zero followers its first year to 6,489 followers, as of Wednesday. Refi Snacks also gives back to the community through projects such as toy drive and snack drive.

“I started my business at ground zero,” Rodriguez said. “And to be on a billboard now and be at major events like the AV Fair and the Vegan Street Fair in Los Angeles, 626 Market, I mean, that’s huge for me as a small business.”

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