Selected 2005

Dan Schwarzblat (Grinberg)

  • Current company Chilim Balam
  • Location Mexico
  • Industry Food & Beverage

Salsa Verde flavored corn chips, dehydrated tamarind and mango slices covered in chili powder, sugar and lime. These are the tastes that Mexicans of all ages and classes relish.

Enrique recognized these tastes and saw an opportunity in a neglected market. He formed Chilim Balam along with his cousin and business partner Dan. Their idea was to enter the confectionary market from the retail side, and ever since Chilim Balam opened its first store in the Interlomas Mall of Mexico City, the company has changed the way Mexicans buy candy. As the first retail (and franchise) candy store chain in Mexico, Chilim Balam offers more than 500 varieties of chocolates, sweet snacks and other Mexican delicacies sold at commercial centers and malls.

The company’s name Chilim Balam is designed to reflect pre-Hispanic culture in Mexico. Chilim Balam is a play on the title of a Mayan Book of poems, “Chilam Balam”. They chose a jaguar as their logo (“Balam” means jaguar in Maya) and changed “Chilam” to “Chilim” to evoke Mexicans’ taste for spicy and chili-infused candies.

Traditionally, Mexicans have had to search for these kinds of snacks and candies from small, mom-and-pop candy producers or informal street vendors who offer only a handful of choices. Chilim Balam offers a standardized variety of candy under one roof and in multiple locations. The company also has its own line of Mexican candies produced by their distinct batch of original recipes at the company’s factory.

Born in Mexico City the 18th of March 1967, Enrique is an industrial engineer from the University Anahuac in the State of Mexico. He has a Master Brewer diploma from the American Brewers Guild in Davis, California.

In 1998, Enrique received the Carlos Anderson prize for restaurant innovation for his work with the Beer Factory and in 2006, Information Week awarded him the technological innovation prize.

Chilim Balam was given the seal of approval by the international organization Great Place To Work. They now has over 12 stores and 65 employees.

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