Empress Avenue met with Candice Macalino, Blogger at Candice’s Cusina! Read more to learn how Candice is carving a niche in the food blogging community!
1. Tell us about yourself. – I’m the youngest of 3 kids; we were all born in Singapore but moved to Vancouver when I was nine after my Dad accepted an architect position in a Vancouver-based design firm. After graduating from SFU, in Business Administration majoring in Marketing and Communications, I continued to love the arts, especially acting. So I did it part-time for 5 years, appearing in movies, TV series and local theatre productions. Soon my love for cooking developed when I moved out on my own 8 years ago, having to fend for myself in the kitchen! I was addicted to the Food Network and started taking various culinary classes at the Cookshop, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, The Dirty Apron and Northwest Culinary Academy in Vancouver. Then in 2009, I took a 3-month culinary program in pastry arts at the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. I loved it!
2. Describe your most recent business success and tell us about your next big goal. – I’ve learned from my blog and YouTube videos that Philippine cuisine is an approachable and fun vehicle for Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike to learn about Philippines’ rich culture and traditions. Filipino-Canadians are the 3rd largest minority group in Canada yet there is very little known about our culture and cuisine. My dream is to bring more public awareness of the Philippines through a food lens. Some of my plans include working on a Filipino cookbook as well as producing and hosting a food-travel show to give viewers a rare and intimate look at Philippines’ unrivaled flavours, rich history and diverse culture.
3. Give us the ‘inside scoop’ – what does a day in your business life look like? – It varies on the day. I try my best to do a Facebook and Twitter post daily on a food tip, recipe or event announcement. Then I try to blog weekly. For this I either write about my recommendations of a local Asian restaurant or a new recipe. The restaurant reviews are published weekly in a paper called the Asian Pacific Post and on my blog. When I visit a restaurant, I usually bring my boyfriend and since we both have healthy appetites we’ll feast on 1-2 appies, 2-3 entrees and share a dessert. The recipe articles are published in a national paper called the Philippine Canadian Inquirer and on my blog. These are family Filipino recipes passed down from my Aunt and Mom with my twist on the recipe. I test out the recipe first, make adjustments, then test it out 1-2 times more before I nail down the ingredients and preparation. This takes a 2-3 days, lots of eating and research on the Filipino dish origins.
4. What types of customers are in your business ‘pink book’ and who are you looking to connect with?- Everyone who wants to learn how to cook ethnic cuisine and love to eat!
5. If you were not doing this job, what is your plan B?- Candice’s Cusina is my dream job!
6. Do you think it’s important to love what you do, or make good money? – Absolutely it’s more important to love what you do so it won’t feel like a “job.” When you spend close to 65-75% of your week doing what you do, being passionate in it seems necessary to me. I think when you do what you love, success will follow and success includes being fulfilled intellectually, socially, spiritually and financially.
Network your networks! Inform your family, friends, previous co-workers, LinkedIn connections, neighbours…You never know what types of opportunities lie right under your nose. As the old adage goes, it’s not what you know it’s who you know.~ Candice
7. Is owning your own business as glamorous as it sounds?- I’m not there yet where Candice’s Cusina is my full-time business; however, I’ve already had lots of unglamorous times (i.e. recipes not working, writing until 3am in the morning), but when things start to pick up for my blog I’m sure all the hardships will be worth it!
8. What celebrity do you look at for style inspiration? – I look at Jessica Alba’s style for inspiration because she seems to effortlessly dress for the red carpet or even just to grab groceries. She takes risks with the clothes she wears but they all seem to suit the occasion, her personality and body type. Who wouldn’t love to look like her!
9. What are your favourite stores to shop at for the perfect work wardrobe?- Since I don’t work in a corporate setting, my work wardrobe is more casual but trendy. So one of my favourite places to shop recently is online, at hautelook.com, it offers limited-time sale events between 50-75% off top brands in fashion, accessories, jewelry, beauty & home decor.
10. What are your plans for expansion? – As mentioned, I’m working on a travel and food show concept to showcase Filipino cuisine, the culture, and the people. I’d also like to publish a Filipino cookbook to encourage home cooks to incorporate Filipino flavours and cuisine in their daily meals.
11. What is your favourite travel hot spot? – That’s a toughie, it’s like asking for my favourite dish because I love travelling! However, where the climate is warm, food is delicious and the locals are friendly. A recent visit to Hawaii has definitely made me want to go back very soon!
12. What business book would you recommend? – I was recommended to read “The seven habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey.
13. Can you offer any advice for new graduates looking for a job or new entrepreneurs? – Network your networks! Inform your family, friends, previous co-workers, LinkedIn connections, neighbours, etc. What you’re looking for if it’s a job position, suppliers, referrals or whatever. You never know what types of opportunities lie right under your nose. As the old adage goes, it’s not what you know it’s who you know.
Contact Candice Macalino from Candice’s Cusina
Corporate Headquarters (location): Vancouver, BC
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org