Today we’d like to introduce you to Ricky Alcaraz.
Ricky, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Cooking has always been a part of my life. As soon as I could walk, I was always wanting to help my mom in the kitchen with her cake business. It started with simply spreading whipped cream all over the burn cake pieces, then grew into learning how to use a knife and slicing and dicing all of the fresh fruit fillings. Gradually, I learned how to bake and decorate cakes, then next thing you know I am competing in and winning Pillsbury kids Bake off Contests.
Today, I am blessed to be able to own and Run my own Meal Prep and Catering Company. That, as do most business endeavors, started by chance. Back when I was 21, I was running a bakery with my mom in Tillamook, Oregon. It was a dream that we had had since I can remember. However, I became involved in the sport of MMA and tasted success there. By my 2nd Career fight, I was holding the super heavyweight title belt for my league, and the name “El Fierro” was born by my friends and family. As my training picked up, I found myself wanting to improve my eating with hopes of improving my conditioning and in turn training. Simultaneously, my brother had Just started in the sport of CrossFit, and he too found instant success to the point where he wanted to improve his daily nutrition. And that is how the meal prep was born. I would read Tons of men’s health magazines and muscle and fitness magazines looking for recipe ideas and clean dishes that we could eat while training at a higher level.
By cooking for myself and my brother, I found that in the same way I loved baking, I loved cooking in general even more. MY passion for flavor and taste poured into each meal I would cook and next thing you know, our friends and training partners would say hey, could you make me some extra of whatever it is your eating! it smells great! and little by little the word got out. 50 meals a week in our house, became 100 meals and became 200 meals and so on. Next thing you know, I was cooking 500 meals a week in our house and we were running out of space!
As that grew, I decided to focus full time on making clean delicious meals for my brother, his training partners and all of our newly acquired customers. His success in the sport of CrossFit reached a pinnacle in 2015, when he qualified for his first CrossFit games! With his new accomplishments, he began to develop a following in the sport, and the first question everyone would ask him was, what do you do for nutrition. and his answer, ” my brother cooks for me.” So, by default our business continued to grow. My brother became much more involved in the meal prep side and together we would take and post tons of food pictures online of our food, which lead to more exposure.
In August of 2015, on a newly posted picture of some pulled pork, a rep For Traeger wood Fire grills reached out to me on the DM and asked if I did cater. I said yes of course, even though I had never catered an event in my life lol. So, it turns out, they needed a last minute caterer for 500 people for a special event. They were providing Stance Socks and free BBQ dinner to 500 troops from camp pedeleton and their families. IT was the opportunity of a lifetime! So, I said yes! I learned how to cook specifically on Traeger grills to be able to work that event, and that in turn changed my entire business. Cooking meats, chicken and all proteins on the Traeger grills brought a flavor profile to my food that nobody else in the meal prep industry shared. And that difference in flavor was the, and has been the difference in our business today. We are the only Meal Prep Company to cook exclusively on our Fleet of Traeger Woodfire grills. And that in turn brings your flavors and textures you don’t find with any other meal prep company.
Today, we remain a small, but strong healthy business who employs three families, and provides fresh healthy meals to families all over San Diego via weekly meal delivery. Located in Chula Vista, the hope is to grow organically and be able to set an example of how anything is possible for my three daughters. I am blessed to be able to work doing what I love, and being able to create new recipes every week. I am blessed to have found a living where I do what I love and am able to provide for the well being of my family. for me, there is nothing better that being able to spend so much time with my little girls who are growing so fast! Ill end it here, but am more than happy to answer any and all other questions you may have.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, not always. The biggest challenge I face is my commute. For the last five years, I have Lived in Playas de Tijuana and work in Chula Vista. So, dealing with the constant uncertainty at the international border to simply get to work it can be tough at times. I have to sit in border Traffic for a minimum of two hours before I get to go to work. There have also been many times that the border is randomly shut down, and in turn making me late for work.
All the recent changes due to the corona virus pandemic have also brought on a tough stretch of constant adapting. However, it is situations like this that make us stronger. being a natural fighter, so you will never hear me complain about anything of the like, but rather always looking for ways to adapt and evolve. Staying positive is key, and most importantly, I like to focus on what I CAN control.
We’d love to hear more about the business.
I am a chef by career. My current business specializes in meal prep and catering. However, the last two years, we find more of our focus being on the Meal Prep side. We cook all of our proteins (beef, chicken, pork, turkey and eggs) exclusively over woodfire, so we are known for the flavor profile of our meats. It is something I am extremely proud of, and it truly is what makes us different.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is a state of mind. When I was younger, I used to focus and obsess on the number of meals sold. For example, I wasn’t happy unless I was cooking 100 meals a week, then it became 500, then it came 1000. However, I realized that no matter what, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. years of beating myself up I came to realize that cooking wasn’t fun for me anymore. so, I did a lot of reading and have learned to focus more on the food once again, and the product I am proving to my customers. success now to me is being able to provide consistent delicious food to my clients, no matter how many meals we make. I take great pride in being able to say that if we make 100 meals of carne asada, that every single one will taste the same, every time.
- All meals are $12.50 each
- Order minimum is 8 Meals, and delivery is always free.
- Website: fierrosignature.com
- Phone: 619-678-3551
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @fierrossignature