Ep 111 – The Bridge To Empathy

Ep 111 - The Bridge To Empathy

Growing up in Central New Jersey as a child of Fillipino immigrants, Sandro Roco had a keen sense of ‘otherness’ but this feeling of difference wasn’t a source of pain, instead it altered his curiosity towards the vibrancy around him. Fast forward a few short years, Sandro’s curiosity for culture shapeshifted itself into the form of Sanzo – the first asian-inspired sparkling beverage company, with an array of flavours and one thesis, to bridge cultures. In this episode, Sandro shares how he navigates the towns of cultural identity we occupy and move through, while reminding us of the priceless importance of empathy in business.

Sandro Roco

In 2019, Crazy Rich Asians had broken box-office records, K-Pop had found a place and applause on the MTV stage and asian cuisine had continued to be fawned over and taken-away. For Sandro Roco, the appreciation for asian culture wasn’t an epiphany, as a child of filapoino immigrants he was acutely aware of the rich history and heritage of his family, so how could he celebrate his?

Enter: Sanzo, the first-asian inspired sparkling beverage company. Since its inception in 2019, the brand has developed a range of unique flavours that pay homage to Sandro’s roots in an accessible, healthy and unique way. With colour-blocking packaging and a casual-but-alert approach to copy, Sanzo has garnered fans across America and recognition in publications from Vice, Bon Apetitie, Refinery 29 and New York Magazine, but for all the bubbling success, Sandro’s thesis of the brand has remained clear from day one: bridge cultures by introducing people to global flavours. It’s this bridge that ties Sandro’s present to his past – here lives a brand founded on unity but continues out of curiosity for each and every individual. 

As a child, Sandro grew up in a diverse community, one in which ‘otherness’ wasn’t a point of uncomfortability but conversation. He learned to ask, listen and bond with those around him who were different, to learn to empathise with them in order to build relationships that extended far beyond a singular opinion or conflicting value.With this in mind, Sandro has carved an entrepreneurial pathway that’s similar to others but unlike most, one that’s proud to celebrate individuality while welcoming difference.

In this episode, Sandro discusses his pathway from chemical engineering to entrepreneur, the importance of failure and the way forward with empathy.

Street Cred:

Sando Roco is the founder and CEO of the first asian-inspired sparkling beverage company Sanzo. Founded in 2019 and based in New York, Sanzo exists to bridge cultures by introducing people to global flavours. With a background in chemical engineering and business investment, Sando’s work has led the company to expand into a range of retailers across the US while gaining public acclaim in publications such as Vice, Bon Apetitie, Refinery 29 and New York Magazine. 

Learn More:

Connect with Sandro on LinkedIn

Learn more about Sanzo