2020 Top Florida Latino Lideres Award Recipient
Felicia Lacalle is a Latino Mover N’ Shaker from Tampa, Florida.
Latin Times Magazine: Where are you and your family from? What is your Hispanic heritage? Felicia Lacalle: I was born and raised in West Tampa, fl of Mexican descent by blood and Cuban by inheritance.
Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about what you do for a living and how you got into it Felicia Lacalle: I am the chef-owner of KUBA Cocina and KUBA en La Playa, I got into cooking as a little girl, being the eldest of three It was my obligation to help my mother and I ended up absolutely falling in love with the kitchen. I later went to Johnson and Wales University to study Culinary Arts, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and came back home to pursue my career at a Fine dining establishment, Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion that helped pave the way to where I am now.
Latin Times Magazine: In your industry, what would you say separates you from your competition Felicia Lacalle: What separates us apart is not worrying about competition, I had a vision for a Cuban niche concept that brings the old world and the new world together and it has been a trend setter since then. I see myself as my own challenge, I want to set the bar so high only because I know what I can do and how far and hard I can push myself and my team to success.
Latin Times Magazine: During Covid-19, tell us about your Biggest Challenge/obstacle and how you overcame it/or are overcoming it Felicia Lacalle: My biggest challenge during Covid-19 was letting go of things that no longer served me a purpose in the business, changing my mindset, not letting anything come in the way of something I had dreamt of for so long, something that so many depended on me for, I couldn’t let my team down and I was going to do whatever it took to stay alive. I knew we had an amazing product we just had to redirect our focus and I had to grow more into my role as a businesswoman than just a chef.
Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about your biggest achievement, and how you achieved it (Covid or non-related) Felicia Lacalle: My Biggest achievement would be winning first place for the best traditional Cuban sandwich in the city where I was born and the city where the sandwich was born as well, after being open for only 4 months.
Latin Times Magazine: What is next for you? What can people expect to see from you? Felicia Lacalle: We are in the process of opening our second location in St Pete Beach, fl and we plan to expand more in central and south Florida
Latin Times Magazine: What words of encouragement can you offer?Felicia Lacalle: Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality, upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.
Latin Times Magazine: What is YOUR comida Latina favorita? Felicia Lacalle: Arroz, Rabo encendido, platano maduro y ensalada de aguacate