Today we’d like to introduce you to Giselle Pinto.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Giselle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Hopefully my story will make someone, somewhere, follow their instincts – not their dreams! I am originally from Caracas, Venezuela. I was lucky enough to live close to an Italian School where I spent my elementary school years and later on, high school was in a French school. Eating at my classmates house or at home was always a great experience around the world. Food in general, has been part of my passion, although, I realized, a passion to enjoy by eating, never a passion by cooking or baking -how convenient right?
As years passed, I did developed this passion for advertising. Started in Venezuela as an audiovisual producer and continued as an account services executive while I finished my degrees: undergrad in Marketing and MA in Corporate and Organizational Communications. Many years and many cities happened, including NYC, Austin, Washington DC and finally Miami.
While living in Austin, Texas, I was fascinated about the foodtruck movement. They felt clean and fun. The decision was made, when I was eating an amazing foie gras at the famous “Mighty Cone” and it was delicious! Although I loved Austin, I was not comfortable putting any business in a city that was so far away from my family -the moral support was needed no matter what was it that I would do. So, I was taking my time in making this decision and I happened to get a job in Washington DC as the Food Service Deputy Director of the Public Schools. An effort that Michelle Obama had seriously started, making sure she diversified the entire system to avoid any cliches of who handled the kitchens that feed our kids. Changes were made for the good and fast! In that moment I had a family emergency and went to Venezuela where I stayed for about 4 months.
Upon my return to Miami, I noticed the city was stroke by the real state crisis: 2009/10. Immediately, I thought “what makes me happy when I am sad” and the answer not surprisingly was: CHOCOLATE! I had another great advertising job offer in Chicago, another city, I completely adore. So, I made a very serious business decision. I took 2 pieces of paper. I wrote in one “Chicago” and in the other piece of paper I wrote “Foodtruck”. Folded them and threw them on a cup, this decision needed to be made by me, I could not ask a friend, a family member, the decision had to be mine, but I was so doubtful about which decision to make?
So, I put my hand in the cup, sending all the good vibes to authentically get my future in this piece of paper… guess what… the first piece of paper I opened so eagerly read “Chicago”. I bet my face was a poem. I threw the piece of paper away and said the hell with it, I am doing the foodtruck.
And that is how Sugar Yummy Mama was born. I did work on a business plan, I made a research among various cities such as Austin, LA, Chicago, NYC, Charlotte and even Washington DC where the concepts were more developed.
Back then, there were 2 foodtrucks, by the time I opened my concept on February 14th of 2010, I was the third dessert foodtruck in Miami and part of the founder of this amazing movement. Few years later, I opened a bakery. I won Best Miami Bakery by Miami New Times, was among the top 10 places where to get cupcakes or pies. Also, it was among the best places to eat pies by Ocean Drive Magazine and prestigious critic Victoria Pesce Eliott, Sugar Yummy Mama that won Best Small Business in Dade County by score. I graduated with honors at Johnson & Wales University – which gave me couple of accolades and distinctions upon graduation. I opened a line of natural, non preservative drinks called Water Yummy Mama that won an award to internationalize the concept for export and I was among the most powerful Latinas by People’s magazine.
I have participated in almost all SoBe Food &Wine Festivals and in all local events that my fellow chefs organize and that I find as an excuse to drink and eat with friends, best times to share stories. If you want to hear the best stories, sit after a tough shift with a bunch of chefs drinking beer… many stories, anecdotes and romances are cooked in those kitchens!
I am currently selling the business and I am back in advertising. I also added a curve-ball into my live and I am also working as a chef in mega yachts or as a Mega Yacht Sr Agent for well known BWA Yachting. Sugar Yummy Mama continues to be in my heart and I am sure someone will enjoy the business as I did, sometimes you need to move away to bring fresh energy and ideas.
The most unpredictable way to make a decision about a business but I could have not been more assertive. Long story short: don’t always follow your passion! You will be surprise of the outcome.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This is a great question! It sounds cliche but it is true, there is no obstacle big enough when your will and determination is strong. I have experienced this every where I go, not only as a Chef, but in advertising too; I ran into terrible bosses, or amazing clients, it is up to oneself to embrace failure as well as success. The interesting perspective comes from whose decision is… who is the winner and who is the looser. The only perspective that matters is oneself and it is part of life, without any clinginess. Determination, planning, focus and kindness will get you wherever you want to go.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Sugar Yummy Mama Atelier and Foodtruck – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Sugar Yummy Mama was created to bring “bite” size gourmet desserts to the south Florida area. Miami was not well known as a culinary icon, however, things are changing and there is more than sun and sand. Diversity is coming and is intimidating how fast it is happening. But the good news is that is happening. I used myself as the best example, I loved dessert and sometimes I wanted to have a good quality cake with a delish icing but portions in this country and gourmet has had different angles. I wanted to bring that: high quality ingredients, non traditional combinations and proper portions.
I am proud of every single piece of this business, from the day I went with my brother in law to an auction and bought the foodtruck, to the moment I won best bakery, best small business, best place to eat pies/cupcakes, shot 4 seasons of my TV Show at FoxLife. But most of it, I am proud for having the eye to identify an opportunity. This could happened to absolutely any business or service, it is just having those guts to go for it and make it happen! there is no accolade nor dollar sign that can replace determination. Try it!
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
One of the things I learned with Sugar Yummy Mama was to plan and prepare. However, I learned that I need to live one day at a time. That is what I am doing. Perhaps, I am getting old, LOL. The plan I have, is to try to help someone pick up their idea and perhaps sell them my foodtruck and help that person to rise – I also had angels that helped me in MANY occasions! So, why not to help. It is so inspirational to help others and to advise as much as possible. There won’t be advise that will avoid some pains and some successes, but at least it will feed that inspiration and determination.
- Address: 816 NW 11th St.
- Website: www.sugaryummymama.com
- Phone: 3056072671
- Email: Giselle@sugaryummymama.com
- Instagram: SugarYummyMama_GisellePinto
- Facebook: SugarYummyMama
- Twitter: SugarYummyMama
- Yelp: SugarYummyMama