On the Line: Chari Reyes of The Ensaymada Project, Part Two

On the Line: Chari Reyes of The Ensaymada Project, Part Two
Photo by Eleonor Segura

At the end of the day, Chari is like the rest of us. She commutes from far away, takes care of her children and is constantly busy. Her baking expertise makes her special, but Chari's life experience is priceless. We admire her ability to make kitchen and home life somehow mesh together.

Read our interview with Chari Reyes of The Ensaymada Project, part one. And now, on to part two . . .

When you're not baking, what are you doing? I am a mother of four kids, so if I am not baking, I am probably doing laundry, cooking their meals, packing their lunches or running the carpool. The kids keep me quite busy.

Last thing you researched online: New and interesting packing ideas for our product [Note: They are using them now! Much easier to use than what they had before.].

When was the last time you were in the Philippines? May 2012 for vacation.

How did the name come about? We passed by this gelato place in New York called "il laboratorio de gelato" and thought, Hmmmm . . .sounds like a project. The ensaymadas could be a project, too. The partners and I discussed it, and after toying with it for a while, we decided that we had a very specific plan. A project, indeed.

Last movie watched: I watched Catching Fire with my two daughters, and we absolutely loved it.

What's your favorite childhood memory? I will never forget those lazy afternoons, just being beside my mother who passed away 21 years ago. I would listen to her super soft voice advise me, telling me I can be anything I want to be, so long as others come first.

Are there strong (dis)advantages to working so closely with family? The disadvantage is they tend to not take you seriously when you are correcting them and their errors. The advantage is that I get to spend more time doing what I love with the people that I love. Life is short.

Last song playing on your radio: Bastille's Pompeii; love that song.

Hardest lesson you've learned: You cannot please everyone. Get real and deal with it, and move on.

Is there anything you'd like readers to know that we haven't already asked? Our customers hold on to and eat one ensaymada at a time. With that in mind, we put 100% into each one. I always think that someone will eventually hold this ensaymada, and so it has to be the best. There is nothing more rewarding than a customer telling me that my ensaymadas are the best, and that they are spreading the word.

For more information, please visit www.ensaymadaproject.com.

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