With a richly diverse population of more than 5 million, metropolitan Miami offers great cuisine and a variety of cultural activities, with Spanish and Haitian Creole among the most widely spoken languages. The South Florida city and surrounding area also make up a vibrant business center. Headquarters for a wide range of companies that include Bacardi, CompUSA, Ryder Systems, and several major cruise lines, the metropolis is the hub for Latin American operations for businesses that include FedEx, Kraft Foods, and Walmart. Financial services, construction, and tourism are among the city’s strongest industry segments. Native Karen Douthit says the city’s diversity helps drive great business opportunities. “Because so many people want to explore these cultures and traditions, you will find that your market tends to grow into an audience that’s broader than what you intended to target in the first place.”
Nicknamed the Magic City, it’s a robust business setting for growing clientele and cultivating creative interests. The region’s great demand for services inspired Douthit to consider an entrepreneurial venture. Approaching her 21st year as the nutritional administrator for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Douthit is also finding success with Petit Cakes (www.petitcakes miami.com), her line of gourmet cupcakes and miniature Bundt and layer cakes. Launched in 2009, Douthit’s home-based, part-time operation produces orders of roughly 2,000 to 3,000 cupcakes per month to an increasingly supportive group of patrons across industries. “I’m still young enough that I’m going to continue working,” says Douthit of her retirement in roughly 10 years, “and I’d rather be my own boss. My goal is to keep this at a slow and steady pace of growth.”
Here are several recommendations for your Miami experience.
A popular conference location, the Doral Golf Resort & Spa (www.doralresort.com), site of the 2012 Black Enterprise Golf & Tennis Challenge, spreads across 650 acres and offers a range of services and amenities that make it a comfortable environment for business exchanges, including its five champion golf courses.
Premium service is what guests can expect at the Mandarin Oriental (www.mandarinoriental.com/miami) located on Brickell Key. Booking a suite provides car service to and from Miami International Airport. This luxury hotel also offers exceptional year-round specials.
The boutique-style Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach (www.hiltonbentleymiami.com) provides a choice between a studio, one- or two-bedroom suites, and the penthouse, all elegantly appointed in European fashion. The penthouse is 3,500 square feet with a spiral staircase that leads to a split-level rooftop terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Truluck’s (www.trulucks.com) service extends beyond creative and succulent dishes to its own private crab fisheries and specially selected farms. There is live entertainment, and the after-dinner drink selection is as impressive as the wine collection.
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