Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Cunningham.
Hi Michael, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I graduated from Florida A&M University with an MBA in marketing. While working for a Fortune 500 company I was fortunate enough to attend culinary school. In 2010, I was laid off due to budget cuts and decided at that time to start my own catering company. I quickly grew that into an online lunch delivery service.
In order to turn up the gain on my new business I purchased a food truck. The idea was to get the food to where the people were when they were hungry instead of asking them to order ahead. At the time apps like UberEats and Doordash didnt exist. I successfully ran the catering and food truck business for a few years until my daughter was born in 2013. Working 10+ hours six days a week was not a good formula for being the type of father I envisioned so I closed all of the businesses and devoted 18 months to being a stay at home dad. 1 additional kid and four years later my family and I moved to Austin, TX.
At this time I was in the financial services industry and definitely looking for my place in the world professionally. After a few months of getting to know the scene here in Austin I realized while in a business accountability group that this was the perfect environment for me to revive my culinary endeavors. Only this time instead of focusing on food, restaurants and food trucks, which are all so very time consuming, I would just focus on the seasonings and sauces that I used during my time as a caterer. I always developed my own blends because it gave me maximum control over the salt to flavor ratios.
So, in April of 2017 Caribreoso Catering & Culinary Services, a now unused brand, became Caribreoso Flavour Boutique. I specialize in Caribbean, Creole and Southern inspired seasonings and sauces. All of my seasonings are made using USDA certified organic herbs and spices. All of my sauces are all-natural, and by year end I added USDA certified organic single origin coffee to my assortment.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road has been relatively smooth and definitely eventful. Austin, TX is a great market for entrepreneurship. People here really love to support small businesses and local artisans. I am fortunate to be in this business dynamic. In March of last year when things literally shut down all of the events I planned to attend were cancelled. I knew in order to salvage the year I had to put a heavy emphasis on social media promotions to spark more traffic to my website. People were stuck at home and doing more cooking during this pandemic. Ultimately this worked out for me and I had a great sales year last year.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Caribreoso Flavour Boutique specializes in Caribbean, Creole and Southern inspired seasonings, sauces and coffee. All of my seasonings are made using USDA certified organic herbs and spices. I currently have about 16 different blends ranging from sodium free to low sodium and then smoked seasoning salts to all-purpose blends. My top selling seasonings are Texas Cowboy Dust, Caribbean Seasoning, PowerPlant Vegetable Seasoning and Smoked Sea Salt Seasoning. The sauces are all-natural which means the ingredient label reads like a grocery list and not a science experiment. I currently have three sauces in my assortment.
Finally, I offer USDA certified organic single origin coffee from Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Mexico and Ethiopia. The coffee is roasted and ground to your specifications upon ordering. By the time it arrives it is only about six to ten days old.
We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
Most people don’t know that I really enjoy giving back. Since the start of Caribreoso I’ve been fortunate enough to donate money consistently to a number of nonprofits. For this reason, I’ve recently partnered with DailyKarma through their Shop for Good app to bring my support for nonprofits to the forefront in my business. Now when people shop with Caribreoso you’ll have the option to Roundup your purchase at checkout then choose one or a few different nonprofits to support. Additionally, I’ll be running percentage of sales campaigns to raise money for scholarships and nonprofits throughout the year. I’m very excited to launch this and other nonprofit fundraising opportunities as part of my business model. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about fundraising opportunities for your nonprofit organization.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.caribreoso.us
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/caribreoso
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/caribreosoflavourboutique
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/caribreoso
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYhUOkvbqq_7gczfFkbk-bw