Tropicaleo – Birmingham’s Caribbean and Latin American cuisine restaurant – won the REV Birmingham’s Big Pitch Competition this past Saturday and they could not be happier!
$15,000 was awarded to Tropicaleo in the annual competition. In a recent interview, CEO Maria Isabel Marrero, 26, told us her thoughts on the unique restaurant and the win:
What will the funding be put toward?
Currently, they are leasing out a space in Avondale, which according to Marrero is a perfect place for their cuisine. As people think of going out for food/drink, Avondale is one of the best places to go for such activities.
Dia de Los Muertos 💀 pic.twitter.com/wn7D75CoW8
— Tro-pi-ca-le-o (@tropicaleobham) November 1, 2016
Marrero is excited about the future, in terms of construction for their space and revving up operations. She also mentioned how they will be the first restaurant inside of REV Birmingham’s “revival kitchen” concept that “will be perfect for Birmingham…”. The funding helps exponentially, but the awareness after the win will last a life time!
How is Tropicaleo Unique/Different within the food market in Bham?
Marrero came up with the main concept for the business, which caters mostly to Vegan and Gluten Free eaters, when they participated in the Woodlawn Street Market this past June.
— Tro-pi-ca-le-o (@tropicaleobham) October 29, 2016
The demand for this type of cuisine not only spurred her to look further into the operations, but also reaffirmed the company’s mission. She also commented that Tropicaleo is the only restaurant in Birmingham, currently, to serve tropical food; Bham consumers certainly love different businesses.
Why is/was Birmingham a good place to start up?
“It has all the element to make it happen.”
Marrero was very excited to notice how many local markets and farmers offer the ingredients needed to provide tropical food. Like many, she loves the concept of “eat/drink local”.
— Tro-pi-ca-le-o (@tropicaleobham) October 26, 2016
Not only are the ingredients readily available, but the entire community as a whole loves to support startups. This continues to be reaffirmed and Marrero is excited for the future of her business and all those starting up.