Interview w/ the Buttermilk Queen – Gigi Pascual

In 2010, my dad wanted a Food Truck to cater the Christmas Service at our church, so I hit up Twitter and contacted the most popular trucks to see who would respond back. The first person to get back was Gigi. At the time, Buttermilk Truck had to be one of the Top 3 Food Trucks in L.A. so I was thrilled! Gigi and I met for coffee in Downtown L.A. and we’ve been friends since. She graduated from LMU with my wife (but they didn’t know each other then), spoke at my network event and even reviewed my book before it was released! Gigi also got married a couple years ago to her Elementary School sweetheart, Ryan and just launched a product line! I think you’ll really enjoy her story:

buttermilk truck, buttermilk inc., buttermilk queen, ryan oales, lmu business 2005, pastry chef, pinay, red velvet mix, ube mix

1. Tell us WHY & HOW you got started with the Buttermilk Truck.

I started the Buttermilk truck around the time of the food truck boom in Los Angeles 2009. I always wanted my own business in the food industry and when this lower start-up cost opportunity came along I took the plunge. Besides breakfast being my favorite meal of the day, research and surveys played a large role in the concept and menu for Buttermilk. As with any business, research into your industry is needed. With the gourmet food truck industry being fairly new, alot was learned along the way. Some information was available like where to get a truck, where its stored, health permits and insurances etc. Where to park, city permits, business licenses were a process for the industry.

2. Why did you make the transition from a very successful Food Truck to a Product Line?

We were very successful the first two years and the last two we were able to maintain a strong brand name. As with any industry, competition comes into play and in this case over-saturation. Los Angeles is large but there is no need for the amount of gourmet food trucks that are out there. Profitable locations became a problem, as well as profit margins. As a business owner, it is so important to go over your financials at least quarterly and see the health of your business. We saw a great opportunity in our product line and decided this was the best decision for us.

3. As a pretty much ‘one-woman show,’ how do you stay focused and keep your priorities in order?

I would not consider myself a one-woman show anymore. As business owners we learn that we cannot do everything. Although I am busy, there is a way for everyday operations to run without you or at least spend minimal time doing so. Focus should be on the opportunities for your business and eventual growth. Daily lists and goals are essential to success, keeping an appointment book and staying organized. Also there are only so many hours in a day, so if you can’t get to something don’t rush a half-effort job. Put it on the list for the next day above your other tasks and get to it then.

4. What do you envision as the bright future for Buttermilk Inc.?

I strive for our product line to be national and international in retail but also used in many avenues of food service. Every product has to have numerous avenues. We will grow with intention and above all remain profitable.

5. What’s one piece of advice you want to give fellow entrepreneurs?

Network, network, network. You would be surprised the amount of helping hands that are out there. You are not a one person show. You may not be able to afford employees but see what makes sense for your business, maybe you can outsource a daily task etc. Your goal should never be to get by, but to grow with intention.

Founded in 2009 by Pastry Chef, Gigi Pascual, Buttermilk Inc first started as gourmet food truck- proudly serving their famous Breakfast dishes to the streets of Los Angeles.

Buttermilk is now making its way into homes and restaurants. In 2013, Buttermilk expanded their brand into gourmet products, debuting a Red Velvet Pancake Mix based on their most popular menu item on the truck.  Recently Gigi has developed a purple yam pancake mix as well partnering with donut shops in LA and OC.

From her pastry Arts and business background running her parents family business, Gigi will continue to grow Buttermilk as a nostalgia brand bringing families together to share the most important meal of the day, Breakfast.

How Rich are you really?

Today’s most valuable currency isn’t money, it’s time
Equally distributed to all, yet maximized wisely by few. 

In the article, Flexibility: The New Definition of Success, flexibility and autonomy is what’s most desired. 

It’s hard to control how much money you make, but you can be very deliberate how you choose to spend your time. 

flexibility the new definition of success, remote work, location independent

Speaking from experience, as a Lifestyle Entrepreneur money isn’t my main motivator, freedom and flexibility of schedule is. Every time I get down about how much money I could be making, I look at my daughter and wife next to me. What if I was working 80+ hours a week? Would I be happy? Would I truly know my wife and daughter?  

Money is a means to an end
Time is an end in itself
It can be argued that money buys time, but does it really?

My point isn’t aim to be poor, but instead question what you’re really after

If your goal is flexibility, then look at your current situation and ask yourself, “How can I free up more time to invest in the things I love?

Need someone to listen to you and sort out a game plan to get started? Let’s talk.

Getting in the Zone

Athletes experience it. In fact, the great ones encounter it more frequently. It’s when everything gets quiet, things slow down and your performance goes through the roof. It’s a beautiful thing to watch, so why can’t you experience it in your professional life?

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Getting in the zone happens when you’re able to tune out all distractions and perform efficiently
 
There’s no formula for how to get there because it’s different for every person, but becoming self-aware by knowing your strengths, weaknesses and tendencies will get you closer to peak performance more times than not.
 
Here are some tips to consider:
 
1. Figure out your most productive chunk of time and do your most important work then.
 
2. Create a routine that works for you where you can almost cruise on “auto-pilot” daily
 
3. Define your work-life boundaries by putting limits on your work hours
 
4. Go beyond organizing, prioritize! Instead of having a to-do list, label what’s most important & start there
 
5. Setting is crucial so find that “place” where you can grind out your best work
 
For myself, I work best alone where it’s quiet, so I schedule pockets of time away from everyone. I also enjoying meeting with people, so I make sure I do that a couple of times a week outside my office. My morning workouts give me energy and I set my appointments in the mornings to get my creative juices flowing followed up with solo work. Spending time with my family is my main motivation, so I try to schedule my work around them. Money is nice, but time is the currency I value the most
 
When I work with my clients it’s essential to identify their strengths early on. I help them “do more of who they are” or maximize their strengths. When my clients succeed, I succeed.
 
So when it comes to work, think of how athletes train for their performance(s). You can accomplish so much more when you create a consistent routine. Make it your goal to get in the zone regularly! 

Fitness, My Drug of Choice & Morning Workouts

I’ve always been fascinated with how great athletes perform consistently over time.

Did you know if you workout vigorously in the morning, it gives you an added boost in energy and mood for the next 12 hours?

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I’ve applied this to my professional life. I workout 5 times a week varying between the gym, playing basketball and golf (Ok, golf doesn’t really count, but it’s a change of pace).

Even when I’m tired from not getting enough sleep the night before, it’s better to workout tired than skip it. I actually feel more energized after working out on a bad night’s sleep than if I rested an extra 30 – 60 minutes instead. Doesn’t sound logical, but it works.

Furthermore “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” actually dissipates after working out. Endorphins flow rapidly and somehow your frown turns upside down.

Some people drink coffee, 5 hour energy or juice in the morning. 
For me, I workout. All of the mentioned are considered drugs, so fitness is my drug of choice
I’ll take it further. If I don’t workout at least every other day, my body feigns for it. I have conditioned my body (and mind) to NEED the workouts.

Back to my example of athletes. Performance has more to do with sleep, nutrition, fitness and focus than anything taught on productivity. It’s more about eliminating distractions, than overemphasizing peak performance. 

As a professional, I consider fitness a part of my job. If I don’t do it, my performance suffers.