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Meet Vanessa and James Garcia of Picameal in Kendall

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa and James Garcia.

Vanessa and James, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
(Vanessa) I am a Miami native, born into a Puerto Rican and Cuban family. As a kid, I always had these wild ideas of building these crazy houses. I would draw them out on my walls and create neighborhoods. I think this was my first interaction with my calling but life was not easy for me. My parents divorced when I was seven and my mom that worked three jobs to support our home. This meant a lot of time alone. As much as a mom can pray that when she leaves for work her kids are ok, I decided to do my own thing. In a search for some TLC, I turned to the streets and gave up my innocence at the tender age of 12.

I hated school, I started to use drugs, and my dreams to become anything began to die quickly. I lost myself in drugs, friends, clubs, and toxic relationships. The little girl that once drew tall beautiful houses and ideas on the wall was disappearing. Now, I’m 15 and started to work, that only gave me the finances to get deeper in my addiction. I was abused & rapped, rejected and completely lost. I gave in to my environment and I could not wait until I was 16 to drop out of school. I was the kid that always got into trouble in school & I felt I would learn more working fulltime.

Over time, I would still daydream about the day I would own my own company that can help people get out of what I was going through. Now, in my 20s, I was dealing with depression because I felt I lost it all, I even try to take my own life. Two of the most important people in my life, my grandmother & father passed away. At this point, what else could I do? I was at rock bottom where God met me.

At 24 years old, God sent me an angel named James. In our first conversation, I was completely reconnected with HOPE. We shared ideas, testimonies, weaknesses & strengths. James saw something that I had lost and brought me back to life. I underwent strong inner healing with God and encountered why I was created and called to do. My Angel became my friend, business partner & now husband. We opened our first Catering Company called Picameal without any knowledge of the industry. All I knew is that I could cook & we wanted to use food to unite people. We rented a warehouse to build out a commercial kitchen that took three years. We were viewed as being too young to take on such a project with barely any experience and the county and people made it that much harder on us. I worked a full-time job and after work, I would come to the warehouse and keep building. I became a cook, construction worker, interior designer, plumber, electrician to finish our build out. I was stretched in all directions! Emotionally, physically drained, I still managed to push. All to see the day when I catered an event for my congregation to feed 500 hungry people that were united with their faith. Now, remember I had no experience, but I had a will and determination to fulfill the call God gave over my life. Since then, I have been catering events from all walks of life and all kinds of celebrations where I get to unite food, people & love. My story is still ongoing and my job is not done. I am not what the world teaches a businesswoman should be, but I am a woman called by God to do business.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was not a smooth road at all! We faced personal obstacles with our emotions and character. We didn’t learn from school how to deal with rejected floor plans and failed inspections from the county, or facing our weakness and seeing each other’s flaws. I strongly believe that is what makes you successful not only in business but in life.

Please tell us about Picameal.
We are so proud to be a catering company that provides it all but with love. We take on every project and try to make it memorable to each guest. We are an extension of the host, so we want to make sure no detail is missed and that every detail points to the host or purpose of the event.

Any predictions for the industry over the next few years?
We see a shift in how people see catering. We don’t want catering just to be about gourmet food that is meaningless but to create a trend that allows us to use the foods we love in the comfort of our home to the upscale celebrations of life.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
James Garcia

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