Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amid Hernandez, Owner of A & A Eventos, LLC, located in Miami, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
A&A Eventos is a luxury catering business. We provide an inclusive service to our clients who want a professional, delicious and memorable event. Each event is unique, and we create custom menus reflecting the theme and any special message to guests. We serve small, intimate events of 2-300 ppl. I come from humble beginnings in Puerto Rico, and I have extremely high standards. My goal is to always exceed my client's expectations.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up in a small town called Aguas Buenas in Puerto Rico. I was always an athlete growing up. I received a full scholarship to UCLA to play baseball. I was on track to play pro ball. When I hurt my shoulder pitching, I had corrective surgery in PR. Unfortunately, my arm was never the same, and my athletic dreams went up in smoke. It was a difficult time for me. I enrolled in culinary school and was able to apply the discipline and enthusiasm I had established playing sports to cooking. I realized that I would need to leave PR to live in the US if I wanted to have more opportunities.
So, I sold everything I had and literally came to the US, knocking on every door until I found my place. I had many, many struggles adapting and not understanding English so well. There was a big learning curve for me. I was lucky to have various restaurant experiences that helped me build a library of skills and knowledge. I worked my way up to the executive chef, opened several restaurants, and realized that I wanted my own business that wasn't going to limit me timewise and financially. What motivates me every day is my family and the big goals that I am working towards.
My wife and I are very specific about what we are going to accomplish and how our business will expand. These things excite me and give me purpose. I want to give my family everything they want and need, my wife and I have a five-month-old baby, Javier, and I want to take care of our parents. I wake up at 5 am every day and have a routine of exercising, meditating, reading, and goal setting that is extremely important to me. This routine is the glue that holds my dreams together and gives me the strength to work long hours every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment so far is running my two businesses (A&A Eventos and A&A Cocina) and maintaining and growing my network. A&A Cocina is my ghost kitchen in Fort Lauderdale. This restaurant specializes in Latin American comfort food for takeout, pick up, and delivery only. It is incredibly consuming and challenging to do what I'm doing. But I love it, and I love to be challenged. Experiencing the struggles of running my two companies is a sign to me of going in the right direction.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In the beginning, there were so many struggles business owners faced. Organizational and financial, I have bootstrapped both of my businesses. Built them from nothing. The hardest thing is to keep going when situations seem bleak or to even just wake up when I've gotten 4 hours of sleep...but I read a lot. And I read and consume content only from entrepreneurs who have gone through this process and have succeeded. Once you learn to block out negativity and only focus on the things and people that are helping to build your dreams and business-it's not hard. It becomes your mindset and your life.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Get clear about everything. Most issues come up due to undeveloped ideas and sloppiness. Be the best at what you do. Work harder and provide more value than anyone else.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
It's only year 3 in the life of my business, A&A Eventos...we are grateful for where we are, but there's so much to continue learning and applying. I'm very excited about what's to come!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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