felix bazgan

Interview with Hanalei Souza – Cambro Eats – Episode 40

On this episode of Cambro Eats, we talk to Hanalei Souza.

Hanalei Souza is an author, cook, and the voice behind LadyLineCook, which extends beyond her blog to social media, engaging with a community of foodservice professionals. With a background in Ski Resort Management, her love for snowboarding inspired the start of her blog and continues to shape her content. Her book, “Nice Work, Boys!” is a humorous and insightful reflection on her experiences in the ski and culinary industries, emphasizing leadership and gender dynamics​.

Check out the interview and follow her on all your favorite social media channels.

Guest: Hanalei Souza

Host: Felix Bazgan

Ladylinecook Social Info : Website | TikTok  |  Instagram

Cambro: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |  Tik Tok | Cambro Eats Website

Interview with Matt Kirschner – Cambro Eats Episode 38

red knapps logoIn this episode, we have an interview with Matt Kirschner, the owner of Red Knapp’s Dairy Bar in Rochester, Michigan. The restaurant, established in 1950 by the original Red Knapp, has stayed true to its roots through generational ownership. Matt took over the business three years ago, promising to uphold the legacy left by the Knapp family. Matt’s journey in the food service industry is one of twists and turns. From being offered equity in a pizzeria at 22, to working in fine dining during the COVID-19 pandemic, he always had a desire to own a business. Eventually, he found his opportunity with Red Knapp’s.

Marketing for Red Knapp’s has been unique and interactive. One notable approach is Matt’s social media series, where he hands out milkshake samples in public spaces like Target and Oakland University and asks people to rate them. This has garnered significant attention and customer engagement. Another creative marketing initiative involved adding unconventional ingredients to burgers, a tactic that even caught the attention of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay on TikTok.

Matt discusses an innovative marketing strategy where he offers free milkshakes to anyone who follows him on Instagram and agrees to be featured in a video. This series alone, sparked by a random customer, has brought in impressive views and substantial food sales, proving the ROI of his social media efforts.

Matt also delves into his history and the driving force behind his business. With a background in entertainment and a deep-seated desire to entertain and educate, Matt leverages social media not just for financial gain but to fulfill his personal vision. He emphasizes that even small mom-and-pop shops can benefit immensely from dedicating time to social media, citing his own success as proof.

On a more serious note, Matt talks about his community outreach programs. Once homeless himself, Matt feels a deep responsibility to give back to the community. He started with an annual coat drive six years ago, which has since expanded in scope thanks to big-name donations. Additionally, he has been visiting shelters to provide food and essentials for the last three months. Matt believes in balancing the fun, engaging aspect of his business with meaningful community contributions.

Matt reveals a glowing 30% year-on-year growth rate for his restaurant, a feat he attributes primarily to organic content. While Matt’s passion isn’t driven by the financial bottom line, he’s keen on leveraging paid advertising methods to catapult that growth rate to potentially 60 or 90%.

When probed about his long-term strategy, Matt paints a bittersweet picture. He sees the eventual fate of his restaurant as part of a bigger life plan. Matt signed a five-year lease with an aim to gather sufficient capital and experience for his future ventures. In a somewhat emotional reveal, he talks about prepping his loyal team for life after the restaurant—some of whom are already taking those steps.

Additionally, Matt brings up his concerns about the fragility of the current economy. Anticipating the possibility of a downturn, he’s already designed an “emergency menu” that could offer more affordable meals.

Outside the restaurant world, Matt has another exciting chapter unfolding. He and his wife have recently embarked on an e-commerce business journey as they also start their family. Moreover, Matt wants to continue entertaining and educating people through his personal brand.

On a lighter note, when asked about his favorite milkshake, Matt roots for the classic chocolate malt, elaborating on his preference for fresh-scoop ice cream over soft serve.

Guest: Matt Kirschner

Host: Felix Bazgan

Red Knapp’s: TikTok  |  Instagram

Cambro: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |  Tik Tok | Cambro Eats Website

Interview with Mike Bicocchi – Cambro Eats Episode 37

Welcome to a new episode of the Camera Eats podcast, where host Felix Bazgan interviews Mike Bicocchi, the executive chef at Elegant Affairs, a full-service catering company serving Manhattan, New York City, Long Island, and the Hamptons. They discuss catering trends for 2023 and how Elegant Affairs distinguishes itself in the competitive market with exceptional presentation, service, and reimagining catering food. Mike shares his journey from working in restaurants to catering and the growth of Elegant Affairs from a basement business to a powerhouse.

Mike highlights some trends in catering, such as the popularity of mini meals and individual small plates that emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic, the increased use of sous vide cooking techniques, and the focus on personalization and emotion in event planning. He also emphasizes that catering doesn’t have to be limited to buffet-style food and can be elevated with proper planning and resources.

Join Felix and Mike as they explore the world of high-end catering and discuss the importance of a strong team, overcoming misconceptions about catering, and the exciting future of Elegant Affairs.

Guest: Executive Chef Mike Bicocchi

Host: Felix Bazgan

Elegant Affairs: WebsiteInstagram

Cambro: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |  Tik Tok | Cambro Eats Website

Interview with Cara Wade [Butterface Lunchlady – TikTok] – Cambro Eats Episode 36

In this episode, Cara Wade, a kitchen director at a K-12 facility and TikTok star known as ButterFace Lunch lady. Cara talks about her journey into the food service industry, from wanting to be a restaurant manager to eventually majoring in hospitality business management and getting industry experience. She also shares her experience working for a nonprofit running a coffee shop and bakery in Thailand. Cara explains that she started sharing content on TikTok because she loves food and loves what she does. She had plans to open a food cart before COVID-19 hit, and had already designed the Butter Face logo, which became the face of her TikTok account. The name “Butter Face” was a funny play on words, given that the food cart was going to be low-carb or keto-focused and involve a lot of heavy fat content.

The name certainly is eye-catching!

At school, she currently provides meals for 500 students. She shares the challenges and the fun of sharing her day to day activities with such a wide audience.

When asked “What are some of the misconceptions or things that that the public may not know about school food service that you wish they knew a little bit more about?” she replied:

“I think the biggest thing that people you know especially in my interactions with people in the TikTok comments and all that people don’t seem to understand the implications of how much, how big, how many less quantity of stuff we’re doing. And people have just they just do this. Why don’t you just do that and like there is no just doing anything 500 times. And I know, especially for public schools, that their hands are tied a lot and your lunch staff cares about your kids. And if something is not the way you would want it to be, I guarantee it’s not because that staff in the kitchen didn’t care about it.”

Enjoy the episode and check out Cara on TikTok.

Guest: Cara Wade

Host: Felix Bazgan

Cara Wade TikTok

Cambro: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |  Tik Tok | Cambro Eats Website

Interview with Sawyer Hemsley – Cambro Eats Episode 35

Crumbl Header

On this episode of Cambro Eats, I had the pleasure of interviewing the co-founder of Crumbl Cookies, Sawyer Hemsley.

Sawyer started Crumbl with his cousin in 2017 while at Utah State. Focusing on making their signature milk chocolate chip cookies the best it could be while adding weekly flavors turned out to be a winning combination. Customer flock to the stores and online delivery for weekly tastings!

In a very short time, Crumbl has become one of the fastest growing cookie businesses ever. With almost 600 locations and on target for 1,000 by the end of 2022, Crumbl is on course for a meteoric rise.

In this interview, we discuss the start of the business, on-going business challenges and what the future holds for Crumbl.

Guest: Sawyer Hemsley

Host: Felix Bazgan

Sawyer Hemsley – Crumbl Cookies: WebsiteTikTok | Instagram  |  Twitter

Cambro: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |  Tik Tok | Cambro Eats Website

Bracken’s Kitchen: Interview with Bill Bracken – Cambro Eats Episode 32

Bracken's kichenOn this episode of Cambro Eats, we talk to Chef Bill Bracken, founder of Bracken’s Kitchen. Bracken’s Kitchen is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Orange County California. Through food rescue, culinary training and their community feeding program they are committed to rescuing, re-purposing and restoring both food and lives.

Through our Cambro Cares initiative we’ve had the chance to volunteer and help out at Bracken’s Kitchen.

Bracken’s Kitchen will make and serve almost 2 million meals in 2021. That is an overwhelming number since Bill started the organization just in 2013.

In this interview, Chef Bill discusses his background, the idea for Bracken’s Kitchen and the continuing need for their work in the community.

Enjoy the show.

Guest: Chef Bill Bracken

Host: Felix Bazgan

Bracken’s Kitchen: Website |  Twitter | Instagram

Cambro: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |  Tik Tok | Cambro Eats Website

The Camtray: Cambro’s First Product – Interview with Argyle Cambro – Episode 30

2021 is Cambro’s 70th anniversary. In 70 years, the company has grown from 1 product to 14,000+ products. The first Cambro product was the Camtray. In this episode we talk to Argyle Campbell, the owner of Cambro, about the development of the first product and how far it has come in 70 years. Cambro is now the largest manufacturer of trays in the world with a wide variety of options, colors, sizes, and uses.

Older Camtrays:

 

Newer Camtrays:

Enjoy the interview and connect with Cambro on social:

Guest: Argyle Campbell

Host: Felix Bazgan

Cambro: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |  Tik Tok | Cambro Eats Website

Hedley&Bennett: Interview with Ellen Marie Bennett – Cambro Eats Episode 29

Ellen Marie BennettIn this episode of Cambro Eats, we talk to Ellen Marie Bennett. One of the great things about the foodservice community is how entrepreneurial it is and it is inspiring to talk to many of them. Ellen started her business, Hedley&Bennett, while working at a restaurant. As with many entrepreneurs she saw a common issue that no one else was addressing and decided to jump in. With the determination she made Hedley&Bennett the premiere name in restaurant-quality aprons.

The Hedley&Bennett brand is the favorite of industry pros, and many celebrity chefs like Martha Stewart, Alton Brown, Roy Choi. The company manufacturers in downtown Los Angeles. Ellen is passionate about helping people with business-ideas to make the leap into making those ideas reality – she has a book called Dream First, Details Later launching in April 2021.

During the pandemic, Hedley&Bennett donated 500,000 masks to front line workers, hospitals, restaurants and charities.

Enjoy the interview and connect with Ellen and Hedley&Bennett on social:

Guest: Ellen Marie Bennett

Host: Felix Bazgan

Hedley&Bennett : Website |  Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

Ellen Marie Bennett: Instagram | Dream First, Details book info

Cambro: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |  Tik Tok | Cambro Eats Website

 

 

Heritage BBQ: Interview with Daniel Castillo – Cambro Eats Episode 26

Heritage BBQ logoTexas Trinity at Heritage BBQ: Brisket, Ribs and Sausage

Heritage BBQ has been in business less than one year and it is already garnering nationwide attention. Based in San Juan Capistrano, it is California’s first offset smoking pop-up to become a standalone restaurant.

If you’re not familiar with Central Texas Style BBQ or off-set smokers, listen to the interview and hear why owner, Daniel Castillo, was determined get the smokers approved and open for business.

Please listen to the interview and check out the links below to connect.

Guest: Daniel Castillo

Host: Felix Bazgan

Foodspace : Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Cambro: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |  Tik Tok | Cambro Eats Website

Cloud Kitchens: Interview with Joseph Shumaker of Foodspace – Cambro Eats Episode 25

Foodspace logoCloud kitchens. Ghost kitchens. Virtual kitchens. 

Whatever you call them, they’re a hot topic. If the general public wan’t that aware of them prior to coronavirus, they certainly are now – with major brands like Chuck E. Cheese, Cracker Barrel, and Bloomin’ Brands all getting into the virtual space to keep growing.

Joseph Shumaker - Foodspace

Joseph Shumaker

In this episode of Cambro Eats, we talk to Joseph Shumaker – founder of Foodspace, a Silicon Valley-based company that designs and manages the food and beverage operations for a variety of clients – from high tech companies to sports venues.

Topics covered in this show:

  • Future of Virtual Kitchens
  • Who Owns Delivery: Battle of the Apps
  • Supermarkets vs. Restaurants

Please listen to the interview and check out the links below to connect.

Guest: Joseph Shumaker

Host: Felix Bazgan

Foodspace : Website | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

Cambro: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |  Tik Tok | Cambro Eats Website