While David Zambrano’s career path is a departure from the culinary management degree he earned from Daytona State, he’s still cooking up a livelihood that draws from the ingredients he acquired in his college studies.
The 2010 DSC graduate, in partnership with his father and older brother, is the director of mi Orgullo Latino (My Latin Pride), a slick, full-color magazine serving Volusia County that will publish its sixth issue in February. The magazine covers a variety of topics ranging from politics, local history and business to people profiles, cooking and area events. A Latin American country also is featured in each issue, which is available free at various locations in Volusia County as well as online at www.miOrgulloLatino.com.
The 24-year-old Venezuelan native who came to the United States when he was 13 said he wants to use the magazine as a vehicle to bring Latinos closer. “A lot of people like me who came to this country at some point in the transition often didn’t feel like they belonged,” he said. “But the point of the magazine is to show that Latinos do have a history that we should be proud of, and we can bring our cultures together and forge them into what we want to become as Americans.”
Zambrano said his Daytona State College experience has proven valuable on many levels. Like many of the college’s degree offerings, the Associate of Science in Culinary Management program is infused with components that provide students the tools and awareness needed to start their own business at some point in their careers.
“I’ve always had a passion for the culinary arts,” he said. “But I think more than a chef, I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve always wanted to have a business, and my culinary management classes included a lot of topics that can be applied to any business. I learned about cost control and purchasing, which is helping me make good decisions with the magazine, and also a great deal about customer service, which is so very important in any business.”
But, he added, one of his most valuable classes was oral communication. “The idea of going up to strangers and speaking to them was always pretty scary,” he said, “but the class got rid of that fear for me and, of course, networking is very important with any business, so you have to know how to communicate with people.”
Like a true entrepreneur, Zambrano said he doesn’t plan to stop with mi Orgullo Latino.
“I want to start a catering business one day,” he said. “I’m always looking ahead to the next thing. But for now, I want to focus on the magazine and make it sustainable, expand on the circulation and content. I’m always looking for that next step. How can we make it better? How can we make people aware that we have something that has value?
“Maybe one day we can grow enough to take it national . . . Then for certain I can start another business, and then another.”