We always feel a sense of pride when a Hispanic succeeds in the United States, and for the Cuban American community it’s even more special.
Such is the case of Yaumara (Yaumi) Mijares, an entrepreneurial Cuban American woman who saw a business opportunity for a new product that enhances the flavor of traditional Cuban food.
I interviewed her to find out more about her company and her popular Facebook group.
Yaumi, tell us a little about your yourself -where you were born, where you live, and about your family.
I was born in Cuba, in Pinar del Rio. My dad’s family were farmers that grew rice until the government took most of it away from them. We all lived in a little neighborhood, about 8-9 houses in total. My mother’s side was in Bahía Honda, and my time was mostly split between the two places. I loved both! I had a great childhood. We came to the US when I was nine years old (almost 10) in 1995 and I lived in Hialeah until 2008 when we moved to Ocala, then back to Hialeah in 2012.
In 2016, I bought a house in central Florida, in Apopka, which is north of Orlando. I LOVE IT HERE! I live with my husband Erik whom I’ve been with since I was 15 years old. He’s my biggest supporter… he always believes in my dreams and helps me through it all, and also my three daughters who are my world.
When and why did you decide to start your company?
I decided to start the company when this idea came to me – in the bathroom of all places. They say that for a great invention you have to solve a big problem. It occurred to me that I had NEVER seen cachucha in powder form. So many people in my Facebook group were in search of some authentic Cuban cachucha peppers – even I couldn’t get my hands on it a lot of times and I’m in Florida. So, I was perplexed as to why this hadn’t been done before. I ran the idea by my husband and he was in shock that it had not been done before. My mom and dad had the same reaction. I knew I had something great and needed to develop it. Sabor Cachucha was born almost a year ago. I had the idea and I’ve had two sale events that have sold out both times. I’m trying to have more inventory, to have availability year-round which is my motto and hopefully soon we will get there.
For those who are not familiar with Cuban food, how do your products enhance the taste of the foods?
Cuban ají cachucha is unique, is flavorful and aromatic. It is a MUST in so many Cuban dishes, such as black beans, picadillo and chicken fricassee. With my product not only will you be able to make those dishes with this distinct taste that they need, but with my powder you can enhance so many other dishes. I use it in and on EVERYTHING and I’m in love each and every time. Everyone that has used it raves about it – everyone wants to get their hands on it, and I pray one day that will be the case. So far it has been a success and I take pride in what I do. It is 100% authentic and natural. You will get 100% ají cachucha cubano, nothing else is in there.
How can people order your products?
My products can be ordered from my Facebook page or website which I just launched! Once they become available of course.
What is your favorite Cuban food to eat and which one do you like preparing for others?
This is a tough question! I love Cuban food, all of it! I love the simplicity of white rice, black beans and a fried egg on top, and for dessert my favorite is FLAN! I don’t have a favorite that I like to prepare. I love the reaction of when I cook and people love what I’ve made. It’s giving love through my cooking and that makes me happy. I like to stay traditional when I make Cuban food, to this day I will call my mom when preparing something that I’m not too sure about. When I was in high school, I kept a journal with all the recipes that she would teach me. It was a special time, and so rewarding when I would make it and everyone would love it. That feeling stays true until today.
You have a Facebook group titled Easy Cooking Cuban. Why did you start this group?
I started this group because I wanted to have an online family community. I wanted to share and help people with the little I knew and I wanted the same back. Food and cooking had always meant love and togetherness in my eyes and I wanted that with many others. I wanted the world to know Cuban food does not have to be hard. I wanted to teach people that. Most of my recipes and videos that I share in the group and my YouTube channel will most of the time be easy, quick, authentic and delicious. I never, ever thought my group would grow as it has. I have the BEST members ever, and I stay involved every day. I’ve made friends from this group and thanks to it my business has flourished.
Any final words that you want to share with the readers?
I think I’ve said enough, lol!
I just want to say that I’m just a simple girl wanting to keep her culture and roots alive through cooking. I never want to forget where I came from, how I got here and what makes me feel whole. Cuba means the world to me; it pains me I can’t be there or even take my kids to visit and see all the places and people that I grew up loving. But through this group and through my product I feel that I contribute a little bit into keeping our Cuban culture alive. I appreciate all the love and support from the thousands of strangers that have become my online family.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a little bit about myself and why I do what I do.
Thank you Yaumi, for granting me this interview that I know will be inspiring to many people who read it.
I wish you much continued success with your business and your Facebook group.