We had the good fortune of connecting with Jada Calaman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jada, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Originally I started out just making Seafood Boils for my friends and family. Eventually I was able to perfect my craft and start selling to the public. I really enjoy connecting with people over food, because through food we are able to share our culture and heritage. Me selling plates of Seafood Boils opened up a new path to so much more, including introducing my culture to all my followers and friends. I haven’t seen much Puerto Rican food in Arizona, although I’ve heard of some to be in Phoenix. I started introducing my small business by popping up at local pop ups in Tucson, and participating in any giveaways I could. I wanted to make all my favorite Puerto Rican dishes become your favorite dishes. Slowly but surely I’ve gained so many great customers of which many have become great friends!
What should our readers know about your business?
As most know, my food is Puerto Rican based and that is what sets us aside from others. We are most excited to continue to expand and gain more of a presence in Tucson. Business-wise a lot of self promotion, and word of mouth was a HUGE help. My family and friends helped out by referring others to us, and we eventually started connecting with other small businesses. Was it easy ?, no. It’s a cliche, but perseverance is key even when you feel like giving up. When I did feel like giving up, I constantly motivated myself to continue! A lesson I learned was not everyday business will be fast, you just have to keep believing and eventually others will notice you. It’s all about the consistency, and we are still slowly growing. I hope that everyone who has tried our food has enjoyed it, and we greatly appreciate each and every one of you!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend were here I’d go Texas Roadhouse, because who doesn’t love a good drink? After drinks I’d visit Rollies , they have bomb birria tacos. If we’re in the summer we’d take a weekend trip, and go up to Phoenix to go Salt River Tubing. After tubing , that night we could go to main event. The most fun places in my opinion is pop ups, you see so many wonderful vendors! It great to connect, and see what others produce.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to take some time to extend a HUGE shoutout to my wife Jaylin. She’s been a huge part of making CookNWithJada come true, and also my biggest supporter. She always believed and encouraged me, and never let me give up on myself. She does a lot of behind the scenes that many don’t get to see, whether it be making my reels or getting us ready for pop ups. She’s the other half of CookNWithJada, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have someone so dedicated by my side. Aside from my other half, my family is another great support system! They constantly show up and show out for us , whether it be hooking us up with new supplies or sharing our post in their own cities. My family goes above and beyond to make sure we have what we need to succeed, we are not only known in Arizona but in many other states because of them! Lastly , our lovely followers! We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you guys!
Photo Creds – Official Photo AZ