Today we’d like to introduce you to Monique Lefkof Benzaquen.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico were from the age of five, I was following my mother and grandmother into the kitchen. My love for food never stopped growing so I always knew baking would be a career choice for me. I believe food is symbolic because it brings cultures together and it is a common ground and a universal experience. My formal training began at eighteen when I embarked on a year-long trip to Israel. While living abroad, I discovered a true feel for fresh market food. That year, also took me all around the world, traveling through Europe, South Africa, Uganda, and India, opening my eyes to the beauty of flavors and vast styles. No matter what part of the world I lived in, the excitement for food only became greater and more exciting. The following year, I was accepted at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where I received my Bachelors in Baking and Pastry Arts, an intensive four-year pastry program. I earned the opportunity to learn from world-renowned chefs that taught classes such as, Sugar Showpiece, Chocolate Showpiece, Whimsical Cakes, Wedding Cakes, and Plated Desserts.
Many chefs say this business is not for the faint of heart. That theory was tested for me when I moved to London to work for Marcus Wearing, Gordon Ramsey’s right-hand man, where the fine dining atmosphere was competitive and extremely fast-paced. This experience opened my eyes and helped direct my future career path. Learning from and experiencing the best is what makes a chef strong and unique. I later worked at top restaurants and five-star hotels in Miami, such as: The W Hotel, Corsair By Scott Conant, and the Four Seasons Hotel. Every one of these places helped mold me into the chef I am today, ambitious, creative, and hardworking. The culmination of these events has lead to this new adventure in my life opening my own business, Batters, and Batches, where I hope I can make my customers feel the passion I feel and put into my pastries every day.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I feel like every small business has its struggles, its impossible to not. You are starting something from scratch and usually integrating yourself in a highly competitive industry with people who have been there for years. My road has definitely not been a smooth one, but I’m lucky to say I have overcome every obstacle that has come my way. My biggest struggle going in was not having a business background so I’ve had to learn a lot of the financial aspects of owning a small business on the way.
Please tell us about Batters and Batches.
Batters and Batches is a gourmet treats company that specializes in creating all pastries from scratch with the highest quality ingredients. My style is what I like to call elevated home baking. I take childhood favorites and twist them in flavor in hopes that will cause all the sensation you’re looking for when you eat something comforting, but with a more elevated flavor profile. We are known for our banana bread, cookies, especially cookies n’ cream, rum cake and bars.
I am proud of being able to make my dreams come true with this company, I’ve known from a young age what I wanted and the vision was always so clear, so to be standing where I am now doing what I love and getting the reaction from my customers is one of the proudest moments of my life.
What sets us apart from others is quality, we stay true to creating the treats with the finest ingredients and using seasonal products to really make our product shine.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Honestly nothing, I don’t think I would be where I am if I did anything different. I think it’s important to learn from our mistakes so that we can grow and learn from them. Everything I’ve learned add value to my future plans for this company which would be to open up a bakery… or maybe a few.
- Market Items range from – $5- $10
- Whole Cakes range from $35- $65
- Since everything is customizable the prices for our prodcuts are not set, we start everyone off with a base price and go from there.
- Address: We sell our products every Thursday at Jackson Hospital Farmers Market. 9am-3pm
111 NW 1st St Downtown Miami Pickup is available in Edgewater Miami or Aventura
We also Deliver!
- Website: http://www.battersandbatches.com
- Phone: 7874140991
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: batters_and_batches
- Facebook: Batters and Batches
Pecan Pie Image- Credit to Ariella food blogger (never not eating)
Interview Picture – Life whispers blog