We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandra Portal-Andreu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandra, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
At Tappas, celebrating creativity and imagination is paramount. As an artist and mother of two boys, I am motivated to think big and encourage my children to do so as well. Our story began with a simple dinner table that had way too many plates and I thought, “If there were a container with multiple levels that could display food, one would have a unique centerpiece and perhaps, less plates to wash.”
The next day, I began to draw (Note: I am not prolific in drawing) and Tappas was born. Five years later this simple drawing became a final product. Despite my lack of knowledge in design and engineering, I knew the power of process and collaboration based on my background in the performing arts and education. I knew that my strengths were in bringing sound-minded individuals together to build an idea using grassroots approaches. In October 2020, we launched our Beechwood sphere and sold out for the Holidays!
Since its conception, Tappas has brought many individuals to the table, contributing their expertise and insights. Tapping into my immediate network of creative, legal, and business savvy family and friends, I found that sharing my idea really helped move it forward. I always say to” trust your tribe” because they will be your #1 source of support and guidance. This is what excites me the most about being a small business owner and #artrepreneur.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Artists are entrepreneurs. We are always working on developing new projects and present them to the community. For over 20 years, I have devoted my professional career to amplifying voices and stories in Miami. Whether it be through art-making, education, or arts administration, my focus was always on building community, collaborating with fellow artists, and empowering my students.
My family also heavily influenced my passion for working in the creative field. I am a first-generation Americana of Cuban/Colombian descent and I come from a family of business owners who have shown me that success does not come overnight but takes time, patience, and tenacity.
When I began to conceptualize Tappas back in 2015, I wanted to build a product and brand that promoted community and sustainability. As a mother, I am concerned about the environmental impacts and legacy we leave behind. Tappas is committed to paying-it-forward by supporting local/national non-profits whose mission is to promote climate action initiatives and education, partnering with organizations such as Dream in Green and the Plant More Project. I am excited that through this initiative I will be able to align my passions in order to create new pathways and opportunities for people, organizations, and beyond.
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?
My itinerary includes: Brunch at Casa Florida
A visit to my favorite museums at MOCA Nomi and PAMM
Check out an independent film at The Tower Theater
Enjoy a drink and live music at Ball & Chain
Watch a live performance at MLP’s The Light Box
Take a day trip to the Everglades and Big Cypress
Playita time at SoFi
Dinner at Red Rooster.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to send immense gratitude to my husband and Co-Founder, Juan Andreu, our sons, Julian & Gabo, my mom, dad, and brother, Danny Portal, and all the amazing people that have encouraged me along the way. You know who you are! Thank you so much for believing in our sueñito.
Other: TIKTOK: @my.tappas
Headshot- Carlos Urdaneta Product Shots- Francy Nuñez