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Ep. 201: How this caribbean travel entrepreneur uses storytelling to create income and impact with Anquanette Gaspard

In this episode, I speak with Anquanette Gaspard who is a food and travel entrepreneur, freelance writer, blogger, and social media influencer, who shares the beauty of Caribbean food and culture. 

Oftentimes, when stories are told about the Caribbean culture it is through the perspective of storytellers from outside the region.

Born and raised in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Anquanette uses her blog, CruzanFoodie.com, to share her experiences in a way that is authentically Caribbean. 

Listen on to find out how Anquanette has been able to become a Caribbean travel entrepreneur.

Listen Below:


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Debbie:

Hey, everyone. Thank you so much for being here. I am really excited for my guest today. I’m here with Anquanette.

Hey, how are you?

Anquanette:

Hello. Hey Debbie. Hey everyone.

Debbie:

Thank you for doing this. We met at the beginning of this year when I was in St. Croix. We met, not even an hour, for like a few minutes, but I loved you so much. I knew I needed to like, keep in touch with you.

Anquanette:

The love was mutual.

Debbie:

It was. And you have this aura about you that I was just like, “Okay.” And I was so sad, Anquanette, that I met you the last night I was there because I would have like, reached out to you every day, be like, “Ah… I need to hang out with you.”

Anquanette:

Yeah. And I would have been like, “Let’s go, what do you want to do? You wanna go on a hike? You wanna go drinking? You’ll drink with some pigs.? What do you want to do? We can do it.”

Debbie:

I know. And that’s you, that’s your personality. That’s why I love it. So I want to share you with everybody and what you do because you’re doing something so unique for your island. And also what you do is really incredible.

So can you tell us more about you and why you live an offbeat life?

Anquanette:

Of course. All right. I am Anquanette Gaspard, born and raised in St. Croix, the US Virgin Islands. So I was a Caribbean girl, I was Indian. At the top of that, I have a little dialect. I have my accent I will tap with. So I’m going to talk the whole time because they probably won’t understand me for most of them, right?

But I was growing up here in the Caribbean, like people always tell you that your parents will say they want you to be a doctor, an engineer, a nurse, you have to have some sort of big role if you will, or a big career. And I kind of started on that path where I got my MBA, I got my degree, my undergrad in finance, and stuff.

I worked for a Fortune 500 company and I absolutely hated it. It was just not what I enjoyed, it wasn’t what I expected it to be. I realized that I was too much of a free spirit, too much opinionated for corporate America. And we just were not meshing. And that’s what kind of led me to live the offbeat life.

And, believe it or not, I got fired from a job, which was the first job that I was ever fired from. And I was like, “You know what? I’m not doing this anymore. I’m not going to continue making someone else’s dream come true.” And that was the defining moment for me in 2015.

And that was the year that I moved to Spain in October of 2015. I lived abroad for some time and when I came back, I decided that I would start a food tour business here on St. Croix, which where I’m from. And the writing was just something I always did. Being a freelance writer, writing about food and travel was something I was always passionate about, that I learned that you can make money doing it.

I was like, “Okay, you don’t have to tell me twice.” And that was it. And I’ve been doing social media and learning social media marketing, and really fine-tuning that. Right now I’m really getting into video editing, I’m doing vlogs for the month of December and I’ve been editing all the videos and just getting much better at it than I was before.

 People always tell me that I’m great on camera. And just based on you saying how you love my aura and everything, if I can transpose that to the camera, then I figured that that would be a great opportunity for me. And this is allowing me to kind of fine-tune that skill if you will.

Debbie:

Yeah. I mean, audio-wise, like your energy already is incredible, right? Because you just have this thing about your voice where I get super excited. But if you ever meet Anquanette in person, it’s like a thousand times more, it’s pretty crazy.

Anquanette:

Good energy. Caribbean energy, that’s what that is.

Debbie:

It’s true. And from the moment you see Anquanette until the moment you leave like she has this huge smile on her face.

Anquanette:

Oh, gosh.

Debbie:

I’m not surprised that the tour that you do is super popular because of you. Once COVID is done, I need to go back to St. Croix and I need to take your tour, seriously.

Anquanette:

So in case, people are wondering what the tour is. So, as I mentioned, I have a walking food tour company it’s called Virgin Island Food Tours. And the first tour product is called Tastes of Twin City Food Tour. Twin City is the nickname for St. Croix. And I take guests to six local restaurants in the downtown Christiansted area, which is one of the main towns or the main city.

And they’re basically eating their way through St. Croix into the downtown Christiansted area, but learning our history and our architecture, our culture, and of course, learning about us through our food and seeing how we’re so intertwined. We’re this melting pot of cultures here on St. Croix, and that really shines through the tour.

And then you have me and I’m so excited and passionate about it because this is home. And a lot of times I don’t feel like I’m working. I feel like I’m just sharing this place that I love so much with people who are visiting here, who took a chance or made a commitment or made a plan to come to St. Croix. And that in and of itself just speaks volumes to me.

 So I’m always excited to just share St Croix with someone who thought that we were a cool place to come and visit. And I just want to tell them you made a good choice and this is why.

Debbie:

Yeah. I’m I was so surprised by how many ex-pats were living in St. Croix. It was pretty incredible. Like, did this just happen recently? Because there’s a lot of ex-pats living there now.

Anquanette:

It is. It’s something that has probably blown up I want to say post hurricanes, believe it or not. So we had the major hurricanes in 2017: hurricane Irma and Maria. We were spared of Irma here on St. Croix but Maria did hit us.

 And we were just suffering for a long time just having to deal with the repercussions of having a category five, this catastrophic storm, we’ve never experienced a storm with such high winds, 175 miles per hour winds that we sustained for over six hours. There was just so much damage here and I think that it was so cheap to travel here.

The opportunities were pretty much endless if you will if you’re a person who, wherever you were, just weren’t feeling it, “Alright, I’m gonna come to St. Croix and I’ll see what happens.” Whether it’s working at a restaurant or working on a boat or whatever it is that they might want to do, or they might have.

 Where they’re living an offbeat life as well, where they can do social media management or whatever it is that they make doing photography and they can do it from wherever they are. And they just decided that St. Croix Is a place that they’re going to want to do that for,

Debbie:

For you, Anquanette, what made you decide to go back to St. Croix? Because you traveled the world, you worked for a Fortune 500 company, what really pulled you back to your roots?

Anquanette:

II always wanted to move back home. I never not wanted to move back home. That was always going to be the plan one way or the other. I just knew that when I moved back home, I didn’t want to work for anybody. That was it.

I didn’t know what business I would be able to do to work for myself that would be profitable. I didn’t know what that would look like. And when I was finished in Spain with the program that I was doing, learning Spanish while I was over there.

I was in London for some time with my friend ’cause she was working for the embassy and she said, “Just come on over. I know how much you love traveling. And whenever you want to come you have a room, a bathroom, you’re good. You have your own space.” And again, you don’t have to tell me twice.

So I went and we were there one night sitting in her flat and just talking. She’s also from home, also from St. Croix we went to high school and junior high school together. And we’re just like, “What are some businesses that we meet on St. Croix?” And we were running through a list of all these different things.

The interesting thing about it is that St. Croix is such a small place, it’s 84 square miles. And even after you’ve left, you’re still so very connected to home. So you know about what’s going on, what’s working, what’s not working, what people feel about the people who are in politics. Like you still are still connected.

So that’s why I was still able to have that conversation with her. And that’s how I decided on the food tour ’cause I was working as a food tour guide in Miami prior to going to Spain. And I would always say, “Man, this would be such a great activity to have on St. Croix because our food is so great and no one is highlighting it in this way. I wonder, “When someone would bring something like this that’s what I would say.

I’m in London and we’re chatting I said, “I guess I’m the one who’s going to bring it to St. Croix.” And yeah, that’s kind of how it came to be. That’s how I was able to determine the “what” to bring me back home. I always had the “why” ’cause I’m home.

Home is where my heart is, it’s where I enjoy, it’s where I feel most at peace, it’s where I just kind of get grounded and become one with myself once again. That’s what home does for me. So it was never a question as to why I wanted to move back home, it was more of, “what are you going to do and how are you going to do it?”

Debbie:

Yeah. And I can understand why it pulled you. I mean, I’m not from there, I didn’t grow up there, I was only there for less than a week. I was working when I was there. But there’s something really special about that island especially with someone like you, who’s a local there, and also just the beauty of that Island was just so beautiful.

I don’t think I hear a lot of people say they go to St Croix. I don’t know, for me, it’s still a little bit of a hidden gem.

Anquanette:

It is very much that way. And it’s interesting that you mentioned, we have so many assets that are here, and trust me, I’m always happy when people discover St Croix. But at the same time, I’m kind of wanting it to stay under wraps.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Anquanette:

Because the minute it gets too busy and crowded the culture and the place starts to change. And if you were to go to St. Thomas or St John, you will notice that immediately. People who business in Croix, they’ll always say, “Man, it really feels like an island over here.

Obviously, we know St. Thomas and St. John are islands, their bodies of land, completely surrounded by water, but they don’t get to feel the local energy like what you described. But they say, when they come to St Croix, they definitely feel it.

They feel like they could move here and they could fall in line and they would be good. And I feel that if we get too many people coming and visiting and wanting to stay and more local people leaving for more opportunities, then that’s when we’re going to see that shift. And that’s also part of the reason why I’m so adamant about moving back home and staying home and living here and just trying to get other people who are from home or living away to come back home because of that reason.

Debbie:

Yeah. And I was just thinking about it when you were talking, Anquanette, and I was like, “Why do I feel such a connection with you even though I just met you for like an hour.” And what I think it is, is because I also came from an island.

I came from the Philippines and I feel like a lot of Filipinos are like you. They’re just very happy. We live on an Island, so it’s like, there’s really not much you can complain about if you have like good food, good people, you have sun, you have the beach. Like obviously you couldn’t complain about it.

Anquanette:

I’ll bring a rum.

Debbie:

Yeah, you have rum. So I’m like, “You know what? I always feel like it’s someone like you, Anquanette.” It’s like you don’t look at things as setbacks, right? Because obviously, you’ve had setbacks, you got fired from a job, you’re trying to find yourself, but it’s always going back to like, “What do I have and what am I grateful for it?” And I feel like that’s the type of person you are. That’s why like, you’re always so happy and super positive.

Anquanette:

That’s right. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I’m just like, “Oh my God if I’d fall into one more pothole, I’m going to go crazy.”

There are quirks about island living that everybody can’t take. Like Island living isn’t for everybody. We do things extremely slow. For instance, yesterday I went to the bank and I dreaded going. I said, “Oh my God, I don’t want to go,” but I had to cash this check, it wouldn’t accept the mobile deposit so I had to go into the bank.

It took me 40 minutes in the bank drive-through.

Debbie:

Oh my gosh.

You might be saying, “Well, it might’ve been faster to go inside.” Nope. Because when I got there, remember there’s COVID, they only allow X amount of people in the bank at one time. And when I pulled up, there were already seven people in a line outside.

So I figured, “I’m going to sit in my car in the air conditioning. And however long it takes, at least I’ll be cool.” And that was it’s kind of, “Okay, it’s a bad situation, but what’s the best of the worst in a sense?” So it’s better for me to sit down in my car and to AC and wait than to stand outside in the hot sun a week.” But that was really lame.

Debbie:

And it’s so funny because when I went back to the Philippines like a few years ago, living in New York, everything is fast-paced. And I would see people taking naps in the middle of the day and I’m like, “Come on. What are we doing? Let’s go, let’s go. Let’s go somewhere. Let’s do something.” And everyone was like, “Take a nap. There’s a hammock, go to sleep.” I’m like, “What?!” They were like, “Yeah. When the sun is at its hottest we don’t do anything. You need to chill out.”

And I was really bothered by that the first week. Once the second week hit, I was like, “Why haven’t I been doing this forever?” And then I was there for a month and I had to go back to New York. And I was like, “What the hell?! I don’t like this!”

Anquanette:

You’re spoiled. That was it, Debbie.

Debbie:

It’s true.

Anquanette:

It’s hard. Not that it’s hard, like adopting an Island lifestyle, it really only works here. If you were to go elsewhere, you would be swallowed up and chewed up alive. And that’s, again, it’s a blessing. There are pros and cons to Island living is what I tell people.

And for me, the easy-going, laid-back feel of it. And me not having any anxiety about working or finding something to eat or paying a bill, that anxiety doesn’t happen for me. Not that it doesn’t happen for other people who are here on an Island. I’m not saying that we are immune to that. I’m just saying that I would never go hungry here.

If I wake up and I don’t have anything to eat in my fridge, I can easily go down the road And I would be able to find food without paying for anything. Not because I’m trying to get over on someone or get something for free, but we just take care of our own.

So when I say that, I would never have to go hungry and I won’t ever have to be without a place to live. Those are two worries that I’d never have to have. And I don’t think I could do that in other places. Actually, I know I can’t.

Debbie:

It’s a lot harder because you don’t have that relationship and community as much as you have in a small town, a small island like that. And not to say there are things that you would like to change, but overall…

Anquanette:

Oh, there’s a lot.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Anquanette:

But again, pros and cons, right? For instance, going to the grocery store, I can’t just say, “You know what? I want to go and get vegan marshmallows. Let me go and buy those.” Mind you, it’s not like I eat vegan marshmallows all the time. I’m just saying.

Like, “Oh, you know what? I want some marshmallows, but I want the vegan ones from dandies or whoever it might be.” There are two or three supermarkets that possibly have vegan marshmallows. And if they decided to order them this week or month or whatever it might be, the likelihood of them having it is slim to none.

And let’s say you wake up or you woke up in the middle of the night. You’re like, “No, I want to make hot chocolate, or I want to make mac and cheese because that’s what I feel for. There are no stores that are really open to purchase anything to make those items. There’s no Walmart, there’s no Walgreens. There’s no late-night anything to get that. You got to figure out what you want earlier in the day ’cause by nine, 10 o’clock, everything’s shut down.

And so again, pros and cons. Would you want to purchase the coconut milk whipped cream from Ready Whip for 6.99 in the grocery store? How bad do you want it? That’s kind of weighing the pros and the cons of it. And for me, I really don’t want the whip cream that much. I just really wanted to try it ’cause I said, “Wow, it says non-dairy alternative whipped cream. I’d love to check it out, but not for $7.”

Debbie:

It’s like, “No, thanks.”

Anquanette:

“No, I’m good.” And that’s just part of it. But yeah, in terms of it being an offbeat life, I just know like to wake up and I could go to the beach first thing in the morning, I could work out, go to the beach, come home, get some work done, and I can do it all over again the next day.

Debbie:

With delightful scenery – with rum.

Anquanette:

And no one is going to frown upon you drinking, having a drink at 11 o’clock in the morning. I always say, “You can’t say you drank all day if you don’t start first thing in the morning.”

Debbie:

Exactly.

Anquanette:

Just trying to go along with the rules here.

Debbie:

So, Anquanette, with everything that’s happening this year with COVID, how were you able to continue to create income, especially since you had your tour company, how has that been going and how are you able to kind of maybe supplement it?

Anquanette:

Sure. One of the biggest things of course, with COVID, tourism was affected greatly all across the world. But because we’re on an island, tourism is our mainstream of revenue. That’s our bread and butter. When that goes away, we suffer immensely.

Now, when you think of it from the hurricanes that I mentioned earlier when the hurricanes happened in 2017, the difference then is that it was only impacting our region. And once we knew how much time would take for us to rebuild and get things the way we need to get them, we know that the flights were still going to be coming in and that still continued.

But with a global pandemic, we don’t know when the end is. There’s no end in sight. We are now going to be creating a new normal and life going to look very different for us all around. So we need to start differentiating our revenue. That’s number one.

But number two is, “Okay. I can’t make any money right now because no one’s coming in. What do I do now?” I can send things out and I figured that the same way how I realized that we needed to have a product that shared our food with people when they came here, how can I have a product that would share our food with people and send it away?

And that’s how the Cruzan Foodie Goodie Box came to fruition. And it’s basically a treat box with six different items that are locally made here on St. Croix. And they highlight the best of our food and the things that we’re really known for. And that was my pivot. That’s been the word for 20,20 – pivot. And that was my favorite for 2020.

Cruzan Foodie Goodie Box brand is separate from Virgin Island Food Tours, but they are very much intertwined because food is the basis of both of them.

And I was able to use my Cruzan Foodie brand to really share St Croix or share the Virgin islands with people that would either love to come here, they’ve been here before and they can’t get back because of COVID, or a large number of my customers are people who are from here that haven’t been able to come home, or they don’t have anyone here to send them any of these goodies and they are buying it crazy, like hotcakes.

Debbie:

That is such a great idea and a really great way for you to think outside of the box and kind of in a way capitalize or turning things around, I will say,

Anquanette:

Yeah. I wasn’t able to bring in other local vendors. And for me, that was the biggest thing. I mean, of course, obviously, at the end of the day, I want to make money. If you don’t make money, you don’t make sense.

At the same time, I was able to touch five different vendors locally that were impacted, right? Because people aren’t coming in as much, not even visitors, but even local people because we’re staying home much more than we were. We’re cooking at home more than we were before.

So our food industry has been impacted by our restaurants. Being able to touch these different vendors and say, “Hey, I need 80 of whatever that item is. I need 80 fruit tarts, I need 80-pound seasoning, I need 80 pepper sauce bottles.” For them, it’s like, “What!? Sure, absolutely. How much do you need? I got it.” ‘Cause, they’re not making anything as they were before. So for them, every little bit helps and I was happy to be able to do that.

Debbie:

And really that’s a great way for you to be able to make everybody create income even during these times which is pretty. And you’ve traveled quite often before this, right?

Anquanette:

Yeah.

Debbie:

So you’re not stuck on that Island obviously. You get to travel everywhere and you’ve gone to like Europe and North America and all over the world. So when you do that, what kind of travel insurance do you typically use?

Anquanette:

I typically use either Allianz or it would be Travel Guard. Those are the two that been around for quite some time. I’ve used them before. And thankfully, when I say using my purchase them before, I’ve never had to use them.

And I feel that if I did have to use them, they would probably be the ones to be the best help for me during a really trying time.

Debbie:

Yeah, absolutely. I hear that a lot from people. And I know some people who are actually stuck in a different country, and they couldn’t come home or they got sick because of COVID and there’s like some insurance companies that actually didn’t cover them.

Can you imagine? That’s so heartbreaking. You’re already there, unfamiliar place, and then all of a sudden, like you get sick and then it’s not covered.

That’s why I’m really glad that I am in partnership with Integra Global because they have a ton of comprehensive plans and they don’t ask their members to build a plan because how do we know what we’ll need? I mean, c’mon who knew about COVID, right?

So their insurance covers everything and it’s all built-in. So if you all want to know more, check out IntegraGlobal.com and see how they can give you the coverage you’ll need and maybe some you never knew you would like COVID.

It’s so scary how it impacted everybody in the world in a blink of an eye. I’ve never seen any of this happen. And that’s why I’m like, “Oh God…” Thank God for companies like Integra because, for a lot of businesses, it’s a make it or break it thing. But for them, it’s also like, “We do it because it’s the right thing to do.” And I’ve heard so many horror stories that.

Anquanette:

Yeah. I’m always like, “I want nothing to do with that.” I hope and pray that I never have to use my travel insurance, but it’s good to have the peace of mind that they’re there when you need them.

Debbie:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Anquanette:

I’ve never traveled without it. That’s for sure. Listen, get something. Do not travel internationally without insurance because, as you said, the last thing you want us to be stuck in a foreign country, in a foreign place, and God forbid, you don’t even speak their language and try and get home. Oh, man, that would make you go crazy.

Debbie:

It’s really scary. But I think too when I talk to people about travel insurance, now they’re like, “Yeah, because of COVID, I’m definitely getting insurance. It’s not even an option. I’m going to get it. I swear to God, never again.” I’m like, “Yeah. That’s a good idea.”

I love asking this question and I’m really excited to ask you this. Let’s fast forward to 50 years from now, and you’re looking back at your life. What legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for?

Anquanette:

I think I’ll start with the easier one, I want to be remembered as someone who is an ambassador for the Virgin Islands. I don’t know what’s going to happen in 50 years, I’ll be here or not but whenever you see me or saw me or had any conversation about me, the first thing that people would mention is how much I loved the Virgin Islands and how much I shared what the Virgin Islands was, what it represented and why people should want to visit here or live here or have the Virgin islands be a part of their lives in some way.

So I think that definitely, I want that to be my legacy is how much I’m connected to these incredible islands. And the other part you said in terms of the legacy that I want to leave behind, is that correct? I got that, right?

Debbie:

Yep.

Anquanette:

I’m not sure but I think for me because I’m so intertwined with food and making sure that the Virgin island’s food culture isn’t lost. I think being a person to keep that going would probably be what I want my legacy to be. So that in 50 years, kids that are in school can be doing classes or they have a course that’s about authentic Virgin Island food and how that history ties back to them regardless of how far removed they might think they are from it.

Like why it’s important for them to keep these traditions alive. I want to figure out how I can keep that going right now in 2020 and beyond so that the next generation will still have it.

Debbie:

Okay. So this is a question that I’m really interested in, what your answer is, where is your favorite spot to get Crucian food in St. Croix, obviously, – your favorite restaurant.

Anquanette:

Oh, okay. Well, this one we have to put in different parts because our food is quite buried in that sentence. Meaning where I’m going to go get breakfast from is not the same place where I would get lunch because that breakfast place probably doesn’t serve lunch.

It’s either you’re going to be asking me like, “What’s your favorite dish meat? Am I going to go to breakfast? Am I going to lunch?” So I’m just going to give you a couple of parts. So for breakfast, hands down, Martha’s Deli. She has been around in that little location, mid-Island, over 20 years – as long as I’ve been alive and I’m in my thirties.

 So she’s been around since then. And she was around before that. So probably 40 years. They have authentic crucian breakfast which has salt fish and pickled cucumbers, chop up, which is spinach and okra with a Johnny cake and a boiled egg. And that would be a typical crucian breakfast.

They do the best ones on Island in my opinion. And they’re always open, they’re open six days a week. So that’s where I would go for my best food in terms of breakfast.

For my lunch, dinner, if you will, I think Zeny’s might have to be my choice because every time I’d go there, it’s consistent. The food is always great. I love the service and I’m never disappointed with my food. And she’s also one of the stops on my food tour. So it makes sense that I would choose a restaurant as such because clearly, their food is the best I chose on the tour.

I ate there on Wednesday. Like what I tell you, I truly eat at all the places that we go to on the tour. I got conch and butter sauce with seasoned rice and beans and some planting.

Debbie:

That conch and butter. Oh my God, that’s so good.

Anquanette:

That’s my favorite dish. Hands down.

I’ve traveled all over. I’ve been to Paris, Italy, Spain. I’ve been to Greece everywhere in North America.

Debbie:

It’s so good.

Anquanette:

I will never choose anything else.

Debbie:

If that’s like your last meal? Yeah.

Anquanette:

Extra butter sauce, please.

Debbie:

For sure.

Anquanette:

But yeah, that’s those are my two places. So Martha’s Deli and Zeny’s restaurant.

Debbie:

Okay. So when I go back to St. Croix, you got to take me to those two places.

Anquanette:

I gotcha. Yeah.

I actually met someone this morning, ’cause I was getting my car washed, and he’s doing island tomorrow. He’s going to go to St. Thomas and he was telling me he hadn’t had a good foot experience. I said, “What!?” He said, “Where have you been going?” All of the places but one where all tourists.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Anquanette:

And I’m not knocking tourist places. They’re there for a reason, they serve a purpose because for some people venturing outside of their comfort zone when it comes to food because you’re hungry and you know what a hamburger tastes like. So you’re going to go burger, you’re going to go with fries ’cause you know what they taste like and they’re not going to disappoint.

And that’s all the places that we went to. There were all of these typical tourist places that had no local influence. So I told them to go to Martha’s and I hope he has a great time because I didn’t get his information or anything. But I was so confident that I didn’t have to say, “Take my number and let me know how it was.” I just knew that he was going to have a great food experience ’cause I literally ate there on Tuesday.

Debbie:

You’re like, “I know sure.”

Anquanette:

I know for sure. And he said, “Well, are they going to be open?” I said, “If they’re not open it’s because they had a death in the family or something.” I even called and their phone line was busy. I was like, “Yeah, they’re open ’cause they’re so busy taking phone calls that their line is busy. So they’re open.”

Debbie:

Now. You’re making me hungry.

Anquanette:

That always happens when I have conversations with people. Every single time they were like, “I just want to eat something now,” and it’s crazy. All I talk about is food, it’s kind of scary.

Debbie:

No, but that’s good.

Anquanette:

Like my dad. Every time we talk with my dad, he’s talking about what he just ate, what he’s going to eat – that’s the conversation every single time. And I think that’s proud of where I got it from. I’m Like, “Oh, that breakfast was good, but oh, dinner’s going to be even better.

Debbie:

That’s a good thing to talk about. I love talking about food. I’m always like, “What’s there to eat? Where can we go to eat? My fiance, Aaron, he’s like, “Okay, we got to eat healthily.” And then we have like one day during the weekend where we can eat whatever we want. And so Monday hits, I’m like, “What are we going to eat?”

Anquanette:

I’m happy that you brought that up because a lot of times people would say, “Oh wow, you’re eating all this food and you’re indulging in all these things, how do you keep it up? How do you stay fit? Blah, blah, blah.”

Well, because I know I like to eat, I also like to work out. I’m not loving it. I’m not like waking up on Monday and like, “Yeah, can’t wait to go running for two miles.” That’s not the feeling but it’s more of, “Ooh, those butter cookies later are going to hit the spot. Let me get these reps then. ‘Cause I knew I enjoy eating, I know I have to work out to do it.

And also I don’t eat like that all the time. I don’t have conch and butter sauce every week.

Debbie:

I wish! No, I’m kidding.

Anquanette:

I don’t. I typically eat fairly healthy. I read labels, I limit my sugar intake, I don’t have too much dairy. But because I know I love pizza, I have normal dairy so that when I get pizza, I can have all extra cheese, extra fresh mozzarella. Give it to me.

Debbie:

Now I’m even more hungry.

Anquanette:

It’s name of the game. I tell them, “All you need is crap every day and drink your water. If you were to do those two things, you’ll be be better in line to meet whatever goals you have or just maintain it at the very least.

Debbie:

Now, I want everything.

Anquanette:

Conch and butter sauce and you want a Johnny cake? I know. I’m sorry.

Debbie:

Seriously. Yes. I want everything right now. I’m like, “I can’t wait until I can have like fried chicken and waffles.

Anquanette:

Oh my goodness.

Debbie:

I’ve been craving that. Okay. So we’re going to be here all day if we keep talking about food ’cause you know.

So if our listeners want to know more about you, where can they find you?

Anquanette:

Of course. So I have my website, CruzanFoodie.com. Cruzan is spelled like the rum, if you’ve never heard of the rum, you already missed out on half of your life. That’s where I cover the food culture of the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, and beyond. That’s really what I covered there on the website.

And then of course on social media cruzanfoodie, I’m all the same on all the platforms. So Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Those are the three big ones, Instagram the biggest, because I’m really big on stories. And I’ve been just crushing the story game recently.

But as of late, I have finally launched my YouTube channel finally. And I’ve been super excited about that ’cause it’s basically Instagram stories in a longer format and I’m having such a ball doing my blogs and just sharing our food culture. It’s just incredible. I’m really loving it. It’s really fun.

And so they can also find me on YouTube, same thing, Cruzanfoodie. And that’s how you can find me. Those are the five ways you can find me.

Debbie:

Awesome. Thank you so much, Anquanette. And hopefully, we can meet each other sooner rather than later, and we can eat together.

Anquanette:

I’m just going to get a COVID test and you can come up here and you could like quarantine for two days. We’ll have you do another test and there’ll be a fast one willing to have you do a PCR. We’ll have you do like the rapid tests and then you’ll be free to just eat all the food.

Debbie:

And beyond the beach. Oh, that’s so nice.

Anquanette:

I’ll send you a picture of a beach so you can be like, “Alright, let me do this.”

Debbie:

Thanks, Anquanette. I’ll talk to you soon.

Anquanette:

All right. Talk to you later. Bye.

GET THE EXTENDED INTERVIEW WITH ANQUANETTE WHERE SHE SHARES HOW TO STAY HEALTHY WHILE WORKING FROM HOME.


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Show Credits:

Audio Engineer: Ben Smith


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