Businesses Still Learning How To Tap Into Growing Latino Buying Power

ShareDiscussDownloadThe buying power of Latinos in the U.S. has more than doubled in the last 10 years. That economic clout grew even during the most recent recession. But many businesses are still learning how to tap into the Latino market.

The intersection of cultures was recently on display at a business expo in Kennewick, Washington. Jessica Robinson followed one small business owner as he tried to make a good impression.

Let’s face it. There are certain things that most people are willing to do without in an economic downturn.

Dale Haven: “My name is Dale Haven. I do custom ice sculpturing.”

Ice sculptures might be one of those things.

Dale Haven: “Cinderella castles, swans, Honda emblems, I’ve done swans, hearts with fifteens in them. I’ve done fifteens with their names in them.”

Fifteens. That’s the category where Dale Haven has been seeing serious growth. The “fifteens” are for 15th birthdays, which is when Latina girls traditionally throw a quinceañera celebration.

It’s like a debutante ball the size of a wedding, complete with a big cake, fancy dresses, music, and yes, sometimes ice sculptures.

That’s what brings Haven and his glass-like carvimgs to this recent Latino Business Expo -- to meet potential customers.

Dale Haven: “So is this your baby?”

Glenda Moreno: “My oldest one yeah. They’re already ‘Look mom, look mom, look what you can do for my quinceañera!’”

Dale Haven: “¡Sí!”

Haven has learned a few phrases in Spanish for these occasions. Like this one, to describe his work.

Dale Haven: “Mucho bonita.” READ MORE

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