Roque Cortés is the founder and CEO of D’Cortés, an ultra-premium tequila brand established in 2019. The Seattle-based label specializes in premium, additive-free tequilas in Jalisco, Mexico. Learn about Roque Cortés…
Follow at: @tequiladcortes
Hometown: I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, grew up in South Tucson, Arizona, and currently live in Seattle, Washington.
First job: My first genuine employment opportunity was working at my uncle’s record store, located in a shopping mall in South Tucson.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: Family dinners are always special, but in the summer, they’re even better on my boat in Lake Washington. Given Seattle’s brief summer season, you can be sure to find me on the lake during these months.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My most significant achievement was the creation of Tequila D’Cortés amidst the pandemic. The process spanned roughly three years, and dealing with government agencies in both countries proved to be a challenge as they were extremely backed up. There were moments when it felt like the project would never come to fruition.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: The most substantial obstacle I faced was adapting to a new country as an immigrant, with a different culture, way of life, and language that I didn’t speak fluently. This transition was incredibly challenging. Even now, 25 years later, being an ESL (English as a Second Language) speaker still presents complications in communication.
Someone who inspires you and why: The person who inspires me the most is my father. He’s an honorable man, someone others look up to, and his legacy is something I aspire to achieve. His integrity and influence have shaped my ambitions and goals.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: If someone were to pursue a career similar to mine, my advice would be to always embrace innovation, think beyond conventional boundaries, and pursue what you genuinely believe in, no matter how unconventional it may seem. When I first shared my idea of crafting tequila, many raised eyebrows. However, I knew it was the perfect venture for me given my background and experience. Producing tequila isn’t just a lucrative business for me; it’s a genuine passion.
Favorite quote: “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” —Winston S. Churchill
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: Many people are often surprised to learn that I’m a highly-ranked chess player. I dedicate at least two hours a day to playing chess online, continually honing my skills.
What makes someone fabulous: In my opinion, a fabulous person is one who not only dreams of success for personal gain but uses that success to help others and constantly thinks about how they can change lives for the better. It’s a beautiful perspective that emphasizes compassion, selflessness and empathy.