Mixing Up a Delicious Combination of Culinary Passion & Entrepreneurial Spirit
My name is Julia Esposito, however most refer to me simply as Jules. I am a four-year DECA member with experience competing in the categories of Hospitality and Tourism, Professional Selling, and Advertising Campaign.
My DECA experience has prepared me for creating effective business plans, as well as teaching me a significant amount of knowledge in the hospitality field. Placing fourth and fifth place during state-level competition for my first two years motivated me to work incredibly hard on my project this past year.
My partner Samuel and I developed an Advertising Campaign for a new ice cream parlor in town. We shared our ideas with the owner, and were able to develop a mutually beneficial relationship, as well as a business connection. We succeeded, placing second in the state of Connecticut, and advancing to place Top 20% in this past April at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif.
With intent on attending The Culinary Institute of America for my degree in Food Business Management this upcoming year, I have an immense passion for baking and all things culinary. Attending a high school that has a college-accredited Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program (Lyman Hall, Wallingford CT), I have spent my high-school career preparing for the world of business. My culminating project of my four-years was to develop and manage a Pop-Up Bakery & Cafe.
I worked alongside my teacher, equipped with over 30 years in the hospitality field, working in high-end hotels and country clubs. From the creation of the idea, settling logistics, balancing a budget, working with a plethora of people, delegating tasks, designing a logo and aesthetic features of the bakery, to the actual culinary preparations, I was able to experience my ideas come to fruition.
Of course with the help of an outstanding group of peers who spent months preparing a perfected menu, testing recipes, and creating pack-lists. Requiring months of intense planning, including many 12-hour days, I gained extremely valuable real-life experience that can not be found within the pages of a textbook.
If I had to offer any entrepreneurial tips to other DECA members, I would definitely recommend making face-to-face interactions with as many people as possible. In such a tech-savvy day in age, it is easy to forget that there is truly nothing that can beat a good-ole’ handshake, smile, and conversation. Making local connections is a critical component of a successful businessperson.
I firmly abide by, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” With this mindset, I was able to receive a multitude of donations from local community member and businesses who took interest in my idea, ultimately saving us costs that we were able to allocate to other aspects.
The Pop-Up Winter Bakery and Cafe will be held on Saturday, December 9, at the HUBCAP Wallingford (128 Center Street) between 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM. I would love to see you all there!