In honor of Women’s* History Month, we sat down with women-identifying Squarespace customers whose stories of strength, creativity, and success inspire us everyday. Adriana Tepuy, founder of Tepuy Collective, is a Venezuelan chef, culinary consultant, and women’s advocate who believes that cooking is a form of self-expression that brings people together and elevates the human spirit. She spoke with us about the mission behind her new business and her goals for this year.
SQUARESPACE: What made you decide to start the Tepuy Collective?
Adriana Tepuy: It wasn't easy to create a name for myself in such a competitive city like New York. I always had the feeling of needing a supportive community that could guide me and provide opportunities in the food industry. Tepuy Collective started from the desire to create a real community of support and work opportunities.
SQSP: What is the mission of the Tepuy Collective?
AT: Our mission is to create a supportive community that provides paid opportunities and exposure for women in the food industry, especially minorities, by collaborating with brands, creatives, and corporations. We are the bridge, connecting talented chefs with brands and encouraging them to think about how they can use their purchasing power to support food businesses representative of inclusion.
SQSP: Last year you hosted a food tour creating curated dining experiences across the world. What was your favorite meal from that tour?
AT: I think each dinner was very special but one of the most beautiful things that I've experienced in the tour was seeing how food can bring people together, transform and make people connect to a deeper level.
SQSP: What role does your online presence play in promoting Tepuy events and engaging with prospective and repeat attendees?
AT: I want to use my platforms and network to provide more opportunities for other women — immigrants, entrepreneurs etc.
SQSP: What do you hope to accomplish in 2020?
AT: I want to create more partnerships with companies that align with our values. Promoting collaboration over competition is one of our biggest goals. By changing the culture we believe we can create more paid opportunities and exposure for everyone.
*We use an inclusive definition of “woman,” “women,” and “female” to encompass all people who identify as women in a way that is significant to them.