Black Blogger Month: Flanboyant Eats, The Cuisine Connoisseur

Food blogger Bren Herrera turned her early introduction to Cuban cuisine into an unconventional yet profitable business venture

 

Chef Bren Herrera of Flanboyant Eats

Bren Herrera, the high-heeled chef

When entering into Bren Herrera’s kitchen, it’s not uncommon to find the petite Cuban chef whipping up a Latin-inspired dish with her favorite cooking utensil—a pressure cooker—and for an added touch of spice, a pair of mauve pink, strappy Gucci stilettos. The designer pumps aren’t a natural necessity, but for Herrera, 31, who has a passion for fashionable threads almost as much as she does flavorful cuisine, it definitely is. However, it’s her love of food that the young entrepreneur to start Flanboyant Eats, a personal chef business called that later morphed into a full-fledged blog. The name is an ode to Herrera’s signature desert: flan—of which she has crafted 41 different flavors, ranging from Cuban espresso and spiced pumpkin to salted caramel and truffle.

Since its January 2008 launch, the blog has grown to include 14,000 unique visitors per month and upwards of 400,000 readers worldwide. Nominated for Saveur’s Best Food Blog Awards this year, Flanboyant Eats has brought about numerous opportunities for Herrera. Currently, she pens a regular column for Latina magazine and contributes to Dean and Deluca’s Gourmet Blog. Last year, as part of a contest, she self-produced a commercial for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter that aired during American Idol and she’s in talks with Telemundo Atlanta about a possible two-season cooking show. For pioneering a profitable platform for Latin cuisine in the blogosphere, BlackEnterprise.com recognizes Herrera as part of our first annual Black Blogger Month.

I started blogging because…

I saw room for Latin food blogs. Three years ago, there wasn’t anything major out there at the time.

I realized blogging was a business when…

Other brands and companies started calling me, asking me to review and possibly endorse their products or when a new client calls me and says, “I came across your blog because I Googled ‘Latin food,’ ‘Cuban food,’ ‘Latin chef,’ and I found you.”

The best part about blogging about a niche subject is…

Exposing that niche to everybody and establishing an interest or creating a buzz about this niche. I’ve created a buzz about flan and that created a buzz about Cuban cooking.

The worst part about blogging about a niche subject is…

Attracting those people that aren’t familiar with [the subject]. That’s the hardest part. I have to be creative and sexy with it. I think that’s my hook—being sexy about it. Then you might get interested.

Writing about food allows me to…

Transport you to a place that you’d love to go to and haven’t been to or would like to go to. It’s a very sensual and aromatic experience, so when I write I try to be as descriptive as possible in terms of what you might smell, what you might see, [and] what you might hear. I like trying to take you to a place with my food when I write about it.

Building a brand is important because…

It identifies your product. So, in my case, my brand would be: a Latina blogger/chef that cooks in heels and makes some kick-ass flan.

The biggest mistake I ever made in business was…

Not writing a business plan. To this day, I have no answer for it.

In business, you should never be afraid to…

Ask for help.

The best piece of business advice I ever got was…

Be consistent and genuine. When you’re consistent you’re always going to put out the same product. People know what to expect. If you’re genuine, you’re always going to put out good product because you love what you do.

Anyone that wants to follow in my footsteps should…

Really consider their resources—time, human resources and money.

None of my success would be possible if not for…

Complete confidence in myself, support from my family and a very small and tight circle of friends that supported me initially and today. Of course, by the grace of God because Lord knows those first few years were… whew!

I measure my success by…

Waking up and being able to do what I want to do and not doing it because I have to do it.

If I weren’t blogging I’d be…

Designing my own line of shoes! I am my own business and don’t intend on going back.

Be sure to check out the rest of the digital thought leaders as they’re revealed each day by logging on to BlackEnterprise.com/BlackBloggerMonth.

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