Tri-C Grad Feeds Her Dreams Despite Pandemic
With a lifelong passion for cooking, Nicole Ortiz opens food truck in Massachusetts
Struggle was a nearly universal theme in the restaurant space last year. The news was inundated with stories of restaurants, bars and food trucks scaling back operations or closing altogether.
But scattered among those bleak headlines were stories of hope. Nicole Ortiz is one of them. In August, the 2016 graduate of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) opened her first restaurant business, a food truck called “Crave,” in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
In a recent article, Community College Daily said the 25-year-old Connecticut native moved back to New England after receiving her Associate of Arts from Tri-C, enrolling in the MGM Culinary Arts Institute at Holyoke Community College. After graduating from the institute in 2019, she was accepted into an entrepreneurship program, paving the way for the establishment of her food truck business.
The mayor of Holyoke helped her cut the gold ribbon to celebrate Crave’s grand opening. She aims to add a second food truck, plus a small dine-in and takeout restaurant, later this year.
“The community has been so supportive,” Ortiz told Community College Daily. “We’ve been selling out most days. We’ve had tons of support. I think people are feeling more comfortable coming to food trucks right now than they are going to restaurants, [because] they don’t want to be sitting down in restaurants right now, so we do have that advantage.”
With some initial success under her belt in spite of the global pandemic, Ortiz has some advice for others who are following their dreams: “Every day, work toward having a better future,” she said. “Stay true to yourself and goals, [and] you can achieve anything.”
January 04, 2021
Erik Cassano, 216-987-3577 email@example.com