BTB Entrepreneur Showcase: Cristina Arantes of Kika’s Treats

By Kimberly D. Nettles-Barcelón

PHOTO Cristina Arantes -- Kika's Treats (1)Kika’s Treats is a wholesale and online store specializing in Brazilian-influenced chocolate covered cookies, caramels, and cheese bread (known as pão de queijo). The owner/creator is Cristina Arantes, a Brazilian-born woman who moved to the Bay Area in 1999.

I spoke with Cristina about her business Kika’s Treats because of my interest in gathering narratives of women food entrepreneurs who enter into food work as second careers, or what I’m phrasing “cooking up a second act.” I sat with Cristina in her bright and airy workspace in the American Industrial Center building in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco to talk about her transition from working as an economist in the finance industry in São Paulo to becoming a food entrepreneur in the U.S.

What work did you do before becoming a baker and entrepreneur?

I grew up in São Paulo, Brazil. I studied economics and then did a shortened version of an MBA with a focus on marketing. I worked for 10 years in the private sector, mostly multinationals and a couple of Brazilian companies. But, I was very unhappy. I didn’t like the whole multi-national corporate way of thinking. In 1998, I started volunteering in the non-profit sector. And then a friend who lived in San Francisco invited me to come over and stay. I decided to quit my job and come to the U.S. on a sabbatical.

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CIA: Applications Being Accepted for Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts

Photo illustration credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)

The road to a rewarding career in the food and hospitality industries just got shorter for career changers and college students. They can now use the college credits they have already earned to speed up their path to a valuable bachelor’s degree from The Culinary Institute of America. The CIA has announced its first bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts, designed for motivated students who have at least 30 eligible transfer credits earned at another college.

“This new degree is an opportunity for those who may have gone to college with another career in mind and are now looking for an entry into the many career options in the exciting food world,” says Dr. Michael Sperling, vice president for academic affairs. “The CIA’s bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts will help them explore food career pathways, refine their skills, and elevate their professional stature as they enter the industry.”

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Multimillionaire McDonald’s CEO is a Force of Nature, Making Money Moves

Roland ParrishRoland Parrish is the president, CEO and owner of Parrish McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd. Parrish is also the former chairman and CEO of the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association, a 42-year-old organization with $2.7 billion in sales and 1,300 restaurants. However, it didn’t take long to discover that Parrish is a force of nature, whose level of success is not determined by the size of his business holdings, but by the size of his heart. Parrish took the time to discuss the keys to his success and the current state of Black business.

Parrish came from humble beginnings in Hammond, Indiana, where his talent in track and field earned him a scholarship to Purdue University. Well into a career with the Exxon Corporation, Parrish applied to the McDonald’s management program but was initially denied. However, Parrish was eventually approved and purchased his first McDonald’s in the Pleasant Grove area in 1989 with $180K he saved by working at Exxon.

“My goal was to only own five restaurants, but after I read a book by Reginald Lewis called Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun? I decided I had higher mountains to climb. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to grow restaurants,” Parrish said.

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The Name Game

Chefs share insights from increasingly common trademark disputes

Chef ImageWhen chef Waldy Malouf opened Waldy’s Wood Fired Pizza & Penne in New York City, in 2006, he decided to name the restaurant after himself, as many rising chefs do.

“I foolishly named it Waldy’s,” Malouf said.

At the time, Malouf was best known for Beacon, his New American restaurant, also in New York City.

“Having a fairly good reputation as a chef and a wood-burning fire expert, an unusual name — I thought it’d be good,” he said.

It did turn out to be good, but not for Malouf.

A few years in, Malouf and his then-business partner, Rob Dixon, had a falling-out about the direction of the restaurant that pit them against one another in a legal battle. In 2010, after he said a judge continued to side with his partner, Malouf walked away from what he called “an unhealthy situation,” leaving the business with his name behind. Today, the namesake restaurant is still open, although Malouf is no longer involved. Dixon was not available to respond by press time.

Malouf’s story is not unique.

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Source: Restaurant Hospitality

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How Memphis Black Restaurant Week’s Founder Turned a Setback into a Big Win

Memphis Black Restaurant WeekIn 2008, Daniels was given the pink slip and was forced to abandon one of her fondest passions: recruiting talented mentors to serve at-risk youth. It was an emotional loss, to say the least.

And when you’re an educated professional standing tall with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree who can’t find another job after a year of searching, you can either become bitter or better.

Daniels chose the latter. She left her home in Atlanta and started a new path in Memphis, walking a road that led to some of her greatest professional victories. She became president of the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals, helping small businesses gain visibility as a social media manager.

She then launched Memphis Black Restaurant Week—an initiative that generated over $80,000 of profits for local businesses in one week.

How does one person move to another city and change the financial potential of black-owned businesses? Black Enterprise caught up with Daniels to discuss her brilliant idea and how she created endless business opportunities in Memphis.

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Taliera on Hunt for New Brands for Expansion

Founder & CEO J Smoke Wallin focusing on next growth brands for national and regional expansion after successfully rolling out Beach Whiskey and American Harvest nationally

Taliera (PRNewsfoto/Taliera)

Taliera (PRNewsfoto/Taliera)

Taliera announced today it is actively building its portfolio of iconic beverage brands after successfully rolling-out Beach Whiskey and relaunching American Harvest Organic Vodka nationally and placing them on menus in 100s of national accounts.

  1. Smoke Wallin originally formed Taliera in 2005 to create, acquire, manage and advise brands in the beverage space. Since then, Taliera has advised some of the most successful brands, distributors, retailers and start-ups on their strategy, branding, and “go-to-market” distribution & execution.

“I love creating something from nothing – turning ideas into reality, innovating and doing deals.  This is where my passion in business lies.  It’s exciting when a startup becomes a real business and Beach Whiskey Company is not only at that place now with national distribution, but we also got there much faster than we ever imagined with two brands, American Harvest and Beach Whiskey,” Wallin said.

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The Latino Food Industry Association Announces Official Launch

Hispanics now spending at a higher rate on groceries, shopping perishables more frequently than other consumer groups in the U.S. Hispanic buying patterns will be revealed from Dr. David Hayes Bautista’s newly released report.

Latino Food IndustryWith Hispanics now spending at a higher rate on groceries and shopping perishables more frequently than other consumer groups, the Latino Food Industry Association (LFIA) announced its official launch to serve its members, and educate the public and policymakers on the contributions and significant impact being made by Latino-owned food businesses and purveyors on the national economy.

“Given the Hispanic market’s $1.5 trillion in annual buying power and the rapid growth of Hispanic-owned businesses in the food and beverage segment, many of our members felt it was time to launch the Latino Food Industry Association to maximize our position in the industry,” said Ruben Smith, LFIA Board Chair. “Our members include grocery chains, independent grocers, restaurateurs, food and beverage manufacturers and distributors, growers and several national brands who see a unique opportunity to boost market share as Hispanic food grows in popularity.”

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BTB East Entrepreneur Showcase: Stacie Page, Founder of Cupcakes and More

By Benita Johnson

I must admit that when I asked Cuisine Noir Magazine for licensing to do the Behind the Business- East Conference, it was because I wanted to show off the best of Richmond.  Although all of our participants are in different stages of their businesses, they all are committed to bringing you superb products and phenomenal service. Stacie Page of Cupcakes and More epitomizes that!

photo 2 (2)As we gear up for the 2nd Annual Behind the Business Conference – East, I wanted to share the stories of who you can look forward to meeting. Allow me to introduce you to Stacie.

Tell us about your business.

I started baking as a hobby when I was a teenager.  I used to watch my grandmother bake in the kitchen all the time and I started to pick up some of her skills just by watching.  As I got older, the hobby continued and I started experimenting with different flavors in cakes and cupcakes.  Each time I created a new flavor, I would have people taste them by giving them away.  Pretty soon, I started to receive request to bake cupcakes for individuals who were willing to pay. The request became more frequent as people were referred to me just by word of mouth. In 2012, Cupcakes and More was created!  I have a license to bake in my home and my kitchen has been deemed complaint with the Health Department.  With over 40 flavors listed, I can create just about any flavor that you can imagine.  Just ask!  I love happy customers and my motto is Satisfaction Guaranteed!   

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