We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Guzman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking has completely shaped who I am today. Thanks to my risk taking whether its considered responsible or not has led me to such an adventurous life. I have lived in major cities- LA, NY, ATL, DC and now home Miami. Thanks to risk taking, I have been able to travel the world on my first solo trip and now one of my favorite adventures which is my business, The Caribe Vegan. I think risk taking is how we grow. It pushes our fears to the fore front and enables us to stare them in the face. Its scary and ugly but risk taking is one of the most beautiful things that propels our life forward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have an auto immune illness, it sucks. There’s no way to paint that picture other than it sucks, but it has truly taught me how to make bold choices in my art. Yes I consider food art. It takes love, practice and dedication. When I am in pain, I distract myself by playing in the kitchen, when I am happy, I cook for my loved ones. I mix and match things that do not make sense to see what art will come out of it. Those random creations are what excite me and challenge me the most. This food business sorta fell on my lap. I partnered with a talented chef. I was great at marketing and she was great at cooking. She no longer wanted to be apart of it, so I had to figure it out and do it quickly but I practiced and fell in love with now The Caribe Vegan. I am not a trained cook. I went to school to be a radio host and/or tv writer. I actually learned because as a teen, my mom would lecture me, but she would do it as she cooked. I would zone out and watch her hands and now any time I want to escape, especially doing these uncertain times, I go escape to a world of spices. My biggest lesson I would say is I had to learn how to bet on myself fully. If not I would’ve lost everything. Really, that’s what I want people to know about my brand the most- I want them to see and hear my story and maybe get a step closer to betting on themselves fully too.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Miami is such a vibrant city. There’s so much to do! I would take my best friend to Haulover dog beach. Its one of my favorite places. I love the water and animals so for me its Disneyland. I guess its more for me than my best friend but I am sure she won’t mind. To eat we would have to support local Vegan businesses such as Reggae Beets food truck, Vegan Junkie Burgers, donuts from Vegan Schmegan, seamoss lemonade from Veganhood. I hope shes okay with gaining a few pounds. Bike riding in coconut grove. I love the big trees. Wow I just realized how I have all of 4 activities. #entreprenuerlife
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would say the stranger danger vegans of South Florida who have now become customers, friends and encouraging cheerleaders. They genuinely are a supportive community that want to see Vegan businesses win and as a vegan business owner things can get tough, so when I want to throw it all away, I think of them.