We had the good fortune of connecting with Cesar Valentino Valdizan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cesar, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Perseverance. We started our brand from an idea that had never been done. When a brand follows an established road it doesn’t need too much perseverance because it knows the steps along the way. That’s why you see some brands succeed faster than others, because they followed the set road with faith and it paid off, and that’s admirable. However, faith is easier to have than perseverance because faith has a established path and you need to choose to be either bold and do, or not be bold and do. A brand like ours, that paves its own path, requires an insane amount of perseverance because we didn’t know what path to even put our faith in. We had to persevere, often lost. If you are lost, but have the map to get you out, you just choose to put faith in the map and follow it and you will be out, but if you are lost without a map, that’s when perseverance becomes more important than faith. Some call perseverance, Hope. As our brand has kept persevering it has found growth and joy in its own path. It stands, rock strong, and that’s what gives our brand daily success and that can never be taken away from our brand.
What should our readers know about your business?
Since I was a kid, I wanted to do something big for Peru. My whole childhood, I had seen the level of injustice and unfair poverty Peru was filled with. I came from Peru to live the American Dream when I was ten years. I decided I would live that dream by making my childhood dream a reality. But, the years started passing, and I did not know what to do. By the time I was 19, my passion for this dream began to fade away fast. Feeling somewhat lost, I decided to take a hiatus by going on a two year mission for my church. Coincidentally they sent me to Peru. I got to travel lots of Peru and really dig deep into my heritage. I was sent to some of the most impoverished areas of Peru. These areas also happen to be where Peru’s natural resources are rich in gold and precious metals. I had been thinking about starting a business in that industry as the realization of my childhood dream, but I was disappointed when I would see in the middle of these impoverished, rural towns, gated communities of foreigners running these mines and businesses, and outside so much poverty with the natives. I decided right there that the gold and precious metals industry was too saturated for me. After coming back to America I began having thoughts that God could not have allowed all of Peru’s natural resources to be ravaged, that there had to be undiscovered gold in Peru, hidden for the Peruvians. I began to ponder harder, daily, on what this undiscovered gold could be. It all came to a conclusion when I was 24 years old. I had begun dating a wonderful girl that took care of her health & beauty religiously. She would put vitamins & minerals into envelopes, write the different times to take them, and take them to work with her daily. I asked her why she did something so tedious and she told me that with her busy lifestyle she didn’t know any other way to get her nutrition for the health & beauty benefits she desired. I asked her how come she didn’t just eat a bowl of quinoa a day and her reply was that she had never heard of quinoa. That was 2005, and most of America had not heard of quinoa, but it was a little golden seed my mother had been feeding me since I was a kid in Peru. That was it! I decided then I was going to start a business to bring quinoa to light for the health & beauty superstar that it is. Quinoa was going to realize my childhood dream. Quinoa was the undiscovered gold I had been searching for so many years. Since I was a child, my mom had taught me to believe in the power of food to heal & beautify. I was going to create quinoa products that resembled that belief. Out of the plant and animal kingdom, quinoa can give the most health & beauty benefits because it has the most life-giving nutrients out of any food source per 100 calories. These are the nutrients that the body cannot make on its own and needs in order to live healthily and flourish in beauty. In those days the quinoa industry was virgin, and products using it were not being manufactured. It was only being sold raw to cook at home. I set out to create a product that made a difference in people’s lives, something pure, without side-effects or anything denaturalized or synthetic. I knew quinoa could do that because I was a walking testimony of its health & beauty benefits. Growing up, I disliked how quinoa tasted, and I am not a good cook. I wanted to create a product that tasted good and was instant, without compromising its purity. I became fixed in creating a simple and effective quinoa product that I could give to both a malnourished child or a supermodel and say, here take this daily, and you will get the most important nutrients you need to be healthy or beautiful. In order to create a tasty, life-giving product, rich in health & beauty benefits without compromising its purity I decided to take quinoa and combine it with Maca and Lucuma. Maca and Lucuma are two other Peruvian superfoods recognized for their rich life-giving nutrients, and Lucuma also known for its amazing taste. To make it instant and keep the ingredients intact, I decided to ground the ingredients and lightly toast them, because you can’t eat all those ingredients raw. This would make the product ready to consume and fully nourishing. In 2009, my childhood dream started becoming a reality when this innovative combination became my company’s first product. I called the mix QuinoAmino, to emphasize that the product was not a supplement, but instead, a real food product from quinoa with the amino acids and life-giving nutrients already in its ingredients, naturally. I wish I could say this was the end, and everything went easy from then, but that was just the beginning of my company’s journey. When I had the first QuinoAmino prototype, I had a falling out with my child’s mom, and I got caught up in the middle of a tough custody battle. All my savings and time suddenly went to that, and after a couple of years, I found myself broke, and with a few a sample bags of QuinoAmino and a small suitcase with my belongings.
My older brother lived in Hollywood, and he told me that if I helped him promote nightclubs there, he would help me find financing to start my dream business. So I went with it. Promoting clubs is a risky business because if you get caught up in the unhealthy side of it, it can hurt you. I was making money and saving it for my dream business, but I had also become addicted to the party lifestyle. My dream was once again fading. I began to realize that I had left my little girl in order to start my dream business for us to be closer, and instead, I was partying my life away. All I wanted was to be a good dad and get my dream business going. I asked God that if Jesus existed I needed to be forgiven. I felt forgiven, and this gave me the courage to go sober. This sobriety began my exit of the nightlife industry, and suddenly, all the right pieces I needed to get my dream business going started coming together, ten years later in 2015. One of the most important pieces that came was my younger brother Piero Valdizan. He had moved back to Los Angeles and I told him that I needed help with my dream business. That it had been years with me struggling to get it off the ground. He saw my vision and agreed to become my partner. With the genius of Piero, by the end of 2015, we were able to take QuinoAmino from a sample prototype to a final product to be sold to stores and consumers. In 2018, out of Quinoa we developed two more products, a hair and skin treatment called Mane Rx, and Quinoa Water, a life-giving water. There is a lot of work for me to do, and there is also a lot for me to be thankful for.
It has not been easy. Because our business is an international business there are always road bumps to success.
Some of the more frustrating challenges have been store owners and consumers here in the U.S not truly understanding food nutrition. Many stores and people profess to be health food advocates when, in reality, they’re only in it for the money. I recall when I first presented QuinoAmino to the Erewhon chain here in Los Angeles, the first question their product buyer asked was, “how many followers does your product have on Instagram?” As if the number of our followers determined the quality of the product. Because we were new she wasn’t convinced about our product so she sent us to their company dietitian. Their dietitian quickly looked at the ingredients list of QuinoAmino and stated, “your product is just food, it’s too simple, you need to infuse it.” Infusing means adding isolated, denaturalized nutrients it. It’s a sure way to take a product from pure to subpar, even if you’re infusing it with natural nutrients. That is the difference between a real food product and a supplement. Supplements whether natural or synthetic are subpar forms of nutrition. That has also been a frustration, people confusing QuinoAmino with a vegan supplement and not realizing it is a whole food product and not a supplementary form of nutrition. People can consider QuinoAmino a powerful food fix for real health & beauty benefits.
Pirating has also been frustrating. If you have a good product, expect it to be pirated. Pirating is not competition, it’s flat out deceitful. A fraudulent company in Peru began selling a product called QuinoAmino not too long ago, pretending to be our business and taking away from our profits and tarnishing our brand.
Funding has also been a struggle at times because we are self-funded, meaning we come up with almost all of the capital ourselves, this can be scary at times because lack of funds can put us at major roadblocks and we often do not know what the next move will be.
There are always different challenges, but all of them we have been able to overcome by placing our faith and hope in God and as time has passed, with that key to success, our journey has gotten much brighter, easier and funner.
Our company and brand’s name is Super Seed International to emphasize that it’s an international brand that uses the Quinoa seed and only superfoods to create products; as well, as a way to emphasize that our products nutrition surpasses other forms of nutrition.
Our vision is to commercialize the greatest of the world’s superfoods and bring them to light for the amazing health & beauty benefits that they give, while enriching the lives of the people where those ingredients originate.
Our mission is to provide the highest quality of natural products designed to enhance the health & beauty and prolong the life of our consumers.
Our company and brand has come a long way. I could have never done what I have done without our team. Our team is composed of my younger brother Piero, my older brother Marco and our business partner Alvaro. There have also been family members and friends that helped our business in major ways when we needed their and they still do. These are what I like to call angels because they have done it without asking anything in return. They know who they are, and I will never forget these family and friends.
I am the founder of our company. I am the visionary. I am known for being able to see a vision and believe in it strong enough to not take no for an answer. I am the dreamer that did not give up.
As a brand, we have a lot to be proud of. Our products have awards and recognitions from governments, world institutions, universities, and more. But what we are most proud of as a company and brand is the love we have for our vision, mission, and consumers. We are proud that though it has not been an easy path, we never gave up.
Our company and brand stuck it out and fought for what we loved. We have left those we loved for our brand. It has been very hard. We did it all in good faith, knowing that if we believe and work hard, everything would work out. And it has and continues to work out, and the relationships with the ones we separated from are becoming stronger than before and reuniting. Our brand is a chain of family and friends united in belief and effort for what we love and those we love. Here we are in 2021, after everything the world has been going through, and brands have risen or fallen, and we are succeeding and happier more than before. I give all the thanks and credit to God, ourselves and those people that have shown us love.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since it’s 2021 we would spend a lot of time in Orange County. It is a very relaxing, beautiful county. The beaches and roads there are super clean and there are so many delicious restaurants. Just about all of Orange County has so much to offer. I would go to the city of Orange for lunch, drive through Anaheim by Disneyland and Angel Stadium and then head to Newport Beach and enjoy time there, as well as Laguna Beach and San Clemente Beach. There is so much to do in just those areas! I would also take my friend hiking to Griffith Park because a hike in Los Angeles county is a must. The views are breathtaking. We would also stroll through my favorite beach towns in LA county, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach! We would grab lunch there, bike or layout. They are beautiful, clean beaches and have a chill atmosphere to play or people watch while enjoying the beauty of California.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Piero Valdizan – My partner in all of my business ventures. He is also my brother. He deserves all of the light and credit our businesses receive just as much as I do. He is the other live half of our businesses because without him they wouldn’t be alive and succeeding.
Youtube: Official Super Seed International
Other: Brand Instagram @superseedintl
Paka Hollywood, LLC