Episode 2 Sugarox

“Candy is really gay. The names are sassy totally on purpose! It’s my nod to our LGBTQ+ community," says Jack Bessudo. He and Dec Simmons have expanded Sugarox from one store in Mexico to more than 3,000 retailers worldwide.
Apr 18, 2024 — 1 min read



Jack Bessudo and Dec Simmons are the owners of Sugarlox in Austin, Texas.

About this video series

Only In Austin: Here to Stay

Only In Austin: Here to Stay

Only In Austin highlights five queer-owned businesses to explore the intersection of identity, community, and entrepreneurship. Here To Stay celebrates these business owners who create safe spaces and are mainstays of Austin’s inclusive culture.

See full series


Jack Bessudo: One of the beauties about candy is that it's super versatile, so you can add any flavor that you wanted. Once I've figured that out, oh, oh my God, you get inspiration everywhere. It wasn't that I knew that I wanted to make candy. I knew I wanted to do something that was going to make people happy.

Dec Simmons: I used up my own business in the UK and then I met Jack.

Jack Bessudo: We had been dating for a year. I very quickly realized that candy making is a very labor intensive thing. I told him, come to Mexico, help me.

Dec Simmons: Yep, hallelujah. There's my moment. I'm off. It was exciting, very exciting. I knew that there wasn't anything like Sugarox at that time.

Jack Bessudo: The flavors of Tamalitoz are based on, these fruit carts are all over Mexico City. The branding and the packaging was always so important to me. We said, okay, who's going to design it? Do we find someone local or do I give it a go myself? I'll learn how to watercolor. It was really nice just to be working with my hands, being able to create something, let the artist in me come out in a way that I hadn't before. So I'd practice and I did my green apples and cherries and I did the new packages.

Dec Simmons: I think the last count we're in like 3,200 stores across the US. Seeing our products on the shelves is amazing buzz, and when you walk in and you see it there, it's a bit of chest beating. Yeah, that's us. We've done that. We've achieved that.

Jack Bessudo: We knew that one day we wanted to move to the States to operate that side of the business here. I knew it was going to be Texas because that's where I grew up. We had the visas and I told 'em, we're moving. We got to Austin and we loved it. That really quirky combination of sweet and spicy and what better place to call the home of Tamalitoz. The names are sassy, totally on purpose, so it's sort of my nod to our LGBTQ plus community. There's so much tongue in cheek and it felt natural. Candy is really gay.


Only In Austin: Here To Stay

Nov 10, 2022 — 1 min read

“Only In Austin” highlights five queer-owned businesses to explore the intersection of identity, community, and entrepreneurship.

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