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Old 09-08-2008, 08:54 PM
1,417 posts, read 853,644 times
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Immigrant cheese paves path to business success | StatesmanJournal.com | Statesman Journal

For 13 years, the Nicaraguan worked baggage and cargo at Washington Dulles International Airport, first as a handler and then as a manager for Taca, the Salvadoran airline with daily flights between Central America and nine major U.S. cities.

Espinosa well recalls the shock on the faces of customs officials when they came across unusual and sometimes unauthorized products stashed in passenger luggage -- fruits, fried chicken, marinated beef, uncooked hens, even live crab, mostly foodstuffs meant to satisfy the longing for tastes and aromas left behind.

When he was laid off after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Espinosa decided to start his own business. What that would be wasn't immediately clear. But one day a former colleague said the magic word -- cheese -- and everything clicked.

"In a plane with 136 passengers, 142 brought cheese," Espinosa joked to me. Among Central American immigrants, Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans in particular, no other product was more popular. Even pilots and other crewmembers were ferrying cheese to the U.S.
Good for this guy!
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