I wanted to further explore how individuals use online media for those who enjoy cooking. I for one love to learn more about the diversity of Latino food recipes that are available online for us to download and collect. Being Puerto Rican, I first wanted to search the web for Puerto Rican culinary websites and I found one that really caught my interest. It’s called Coqui The Chef and it was created by Tania Lopez who also owns a virtual assistant service called Divine Creativity, Inc.
According to Tania, the purpose of Coqui The Chef is to “endorse healthy eating among children and adults. Whether you are Puerto Rican or not, there is a crisis of obesity and diabetes. Coqui The Chef wants to encourage the value of daily nutrition and well-balanced meals.”
What’s great about this site is that not only does Tania provide relevant content on healthy Puerto Rican and European cooking but she creatively uses social networks to help promote healthy eating and nutritional recipes, so Coqui The Chef can also be accessed on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Blogger. She also created a special Holiday eCook Book that is available to purchase and download, in English and Spanish. This is a great way for those to start cooking without spending extra time and money at traditional bookstores.
I had an opportunity to interview Tania on her work in putting together Coqui The Chef as a culinary social network.
Please give me a brief story of how your business came about.
Coqui The Chef came to me while I was eating dinner. The image popped in my head and I told my friend James Sherman (graphic artist) that I’d like him to illustrate for me a frog dressed in chef’s clothing with an apron using the colors of the Puerto Rican Flag. I discussed Puerto Rico’s mascot the Coqui with him, so he could incorporate and put together my Coqui The Chef caricature.
What is the goal of your business?
My goal… interesting you ask this, because it all started out as a hobby. To tell you the truth I’m very surprised of the support, help and funding I’ve received from people all over the world. I guess my goal is to watch and see how far I can go with Coqui The Chef although; I do have high expectations.
What difficulties did you face, starting your business?
There are lots of legal business matters to take care of when caricature is involved. But nothing I did not mind because I do enjoy my work.
What marketing and online media campaigns are you using to help expand the business and brand identity?
Most of the time I use online marketing but noticed that stepping out of online media is also very effective and fun. I usually like to visit Health Fairs, Food Festivals and cooking demos where I can hand out business cards and if the person is well known or famous, I may ask them to take a photo with a Coqui The Chef business card.
Are you also using your business as a way to help your local community? If so, how?
The local community is definitely a tougher process and one that I’d like to approach carefully as Coqui The Chef grows.
What is one advice that you would like to offer to others who want to start their own business?
Have patience and have fun with it. Don’t let the business consume you, delegate, barter, have a team in place. And don’t do everything by yourself, there are lots of people out there who can help, all you have to do is ask.
- Q&A with Chef John of Food Wishes (youtube-global.blogspot.com)
- Brands and Bloggers Social Media PR Party Recipe 10 Ingredients (wiredprworks.com)
- Cacique’s Authentic Recipe for Winter Enchiladas Featured by Chef Aarón Sánchez on The Today Show (prweb.com)
- Chau Lima – Lima, Peru (travelpod.com)