We had the good fortune of connecting with Orlando Benavidez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Orlando, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I just wanted to continue the pursuit of creating something I could call my own, and follow my dream of creating something that was mine to share with others. I had been in the industry for so long helping other people’s dreams come true, it was time for me to do something for myself.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A few things that separates my brand, and myself from others are the products I offer aside from the food I cook. I have my own line of 6 different dry rub spices that are Chile based, and give the consumer an opportunity to season their food the same way I do. If they’ve seen what I make on social media, or if they’ve been to the food truck and want to recreate that flavor they can. I also have a line of Chile tortillas that have Hatch, NM green, and red Chile in them. These are unique to my business as well. There are no preservatives, or dyes. All ingredients are natural, and you get the flavor of the two chiles in the tortillas as you eat them. Because the Chile is present in the tortillas you get that added extra flavor when you use them for tacos, or whatever dish it might be your eating them with.
I spent a good amount of my twenties traveling, and working learning as much as possible before I settled in Colorado in my thirties and decide to open my business. It was a long road, and wasn’t always easy, but the hard times definitely made me work harder, and want to be my own boss one day eventually even more. I worked my way up from dishwasher, prep cook, line cook, to executive chef positions, and even then it wasn’t enough for me. I still wanted something to call my own. It is a lot more work, but it’s mine.
My brand is all about having fun, trying new things, and creating something for everyone to enjoy. I love to share everything I do, and want others to have the opportunity to recreate what I do. Seeing people enjoy what I do, and being able to do the same at home for friends, and family parties, dinners, etc. is what brings a smile to my face.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I enjoy supporting local spots in Colorado like food trucks, small locally owned restaurants, shops, markets, etc.
A few good ones are food trucks like:
Crescent City Connection’s Cajun creole, Miss B’s Vietnemise, High Society Pizza, Street Side Eats, Radical Sasquatch dumplings, Barret & Pratt provisions, Stromans Denver Hibachi, vegan van, the roadrunner and so many more. I could go on about food trucks that I love in denver forever!
Local bars/breweries/markets/restaurants/ vendors/small business owners : PonyUp downtown, Zuni street brewing, 4Noses, mountain toad, brothers bar, Stanley marketplace, culture meat & cheese, riverbear American meats, spice guys, element knife company, Pochitos tortilla factory, choice markets, proud souls, Nooch vegan market, sweet gold juice, 3rd bird kombucha, and tons more!
Denver has some of the best small business owners, and such a close knit community. It’s one of the best parts of being a small business owner in Denver.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank my grandfather, grandmother, parents, culinary school instructors, other cooks, and all of the chefs I’ve worked with over the years in all of the different cities & states I’ve lived in. I also have to give credit to several well know chefs around the world for sharing their experiences, and knowledge through cook books, and biographies. This too was a big help through out the progression of my career. Being able to read about experiences, and reference recipes, ideas, and ways to pair certain flavors together was inspiring to me, and to this day are a big part of my process. My peers are a huge influence as well. I always try to learn something new from everyone, and retain as much as possible. Being set in your own way, and not opening up to other ideas, information, new techniques, etc. is a recipe for disaster. Knowledge is power, and when you choose to stop retaining new information that’s when you stop growing.
Other: Link tree to see all of the cool things we’ve done! https://linktr.ee/Bitsnpiecescc