Entrepreneur Thrives in a Downward EconomyBy Malcolm Bohall on 2010-03-24 12:20:09
Entrepreneur Tommy Aquaro loves food, he loves food so much that he has created his very own cookbook and enters his favorite recipes into food competitions. During the spiraling recession of 2008, Aquaro won the 2008 Rebec Garlic Cook-Off prize at the annual festival in Amherst, Virginia. Last October, Aquaro won the Cook-Off again at age 45; it was the first time someone had ever won the event two years in a row in the 30-year history of the festival.
Aguaro is currently working on his next recipe for the 2010 festival and is continuing his entrepreneurial skills with salsa making, photography, cook book writing and all-around self promoting. Aguaro has even started a his very own business, known as Arc Angels Creation, L.L.C. that has been extremely busy selling all of his fair entries.
When the fair season is out of season, Aguaro is found in the kitchen creating new ideas for the next prize-winning food or marketing his salsa and pursuing his other interests. Soon, he'll have to hire someone to handle his salsa sales because he has a deal in the works to have his recipe bottled and marketed nationwide by a North Carolina based company.
As a veteran U.S. Navy diver, welder and ironworker, Aguaro has been sending his salsa to servicemen in Afghanistan for half price for the past year.
A sequel to his first self-published cook book, "The Working Man's Cookbook" is in the works too; titled "The Man with the Pan", his second effort is filled to the brim with creative names like “Mountain of Mash" (a mashed potato dish) and a lot of intense recipes to keep the taste buds tingling.
The entrepreneur, however, loves photography just as much as cooking. Aguaro goes into the countryside taking pictures of landscapes and old barns and sells his prints based on size from $15 for 5x7 and $34 for an 11x14. Always up for something new, Aquaro was getting ready for a trip to Hampton last month to see a pirate ship at the Nauticus Museum there.