La Vie en Rose Curaçao is a patisserie; a french style bakery that specializes in sweets and pastries, and in this specific case a place where every morsel is made with delivering pure joy in mind.
Luigi has a very positive way of looking at things, and all you have to do is take a bite of one of his signature macarons to know that you have stumbled upon something special. Luigi has always loved baking and as he explains, it was an easy decision for him to make, because he was simply choosing for his happiness. What he observed was that when people had to decide on a career, they often start thinking about what would pay well, and secondly what they thought they would be content doing. In his opinion it should be the other way around: “The very first question should be: What do you love doing? And then do that for the rest of your life.”
And this 23 year old entrepreneur is doing exactly that. Yes. You read that right: 23.
Because of his age, he has been underestimated, but he has not let that deter him. He stays focused on what it is he is working towards, and believes in what it is he is doing, and is capable of. He studied the art of baking in France and prides himself not only on the flavors he delivers, but also on the classic techniques that he was taught to use in his kitchen. His skills are beautifully showcased when he makes macarons, one of the most popular of the French pastries, but also one of the hardest to make just right.
His classic background is more than evident in the sophistication of his presentation, and you can tell that he means it when he says: Baking is an art.
And one that he takes very seriously. He insists on using only the very best ingredients, and a great example would be the fruit he uses. Not a single raspberry beyond it’s peak will ever top one of his creations. Seeing how the island is dependent of the import, this can sometimes prove to be a challenge, but one that Luigi doesn’t allow to get in his way. From renegotiating the price of cashews, to selecting the produce he works with: he is relentless. He admits that he is a bit of a perfectionist, and he wants things done his way: but the results are worth it.
His love for his craft comes through what he produces, the better the mood he is in, the better his products are. And it is for that reason that he is careful of baking when he is not feeling up to it, even going to the extreme of turning down an order when he was having a bad day. But it makes sense when he explains it further: what you put in, you get out. So if he is a foul mood, there is no way the order will measure up to the standards he wants to uphold. From catering events like the Governor’s Ball, to serving celebrities like Jonathan Cheban, La Vie en Rose continues soaring to new heights. But every business has it’s difficulties, and the same goes for running La Vie en Rose.
The hardest part for him? “Keeping it all together.”
Luigi didn’t study business, and so when he decided to start his own company he was confronted with things such as food cost, planning, efficiency, finances, and dealing directly with vendors and clients. A very different world compared to baking on Sundays in a relaxed atmosphere. There is a lot of pressure involved because he is responsible for everything, and any bad feedback reflects directly on the person in charge. Rather than let it affect him too deeply though he quickly starts accessing the feedback given to see what he can learn from it. Was it too salty? Was it not sweet enough? What were the expectations and why were they not met? The learning opportunities are endless.
Luigi handles it all, mostly by himself, and during the busier times, like December, he has 2 assistants helping him out. There have been setbacks along the way but that is where his philosophy on choosing to do what you love, pays off: When you are passionate about something, it doesn’t matter that you didn’t study business; because you are driven to figure it all out, learn what you need to learn along the way, and keep going.
Luigi is a DreamCatcher, and I couldn’t be happier for people like him, who besides giving the world great things made out of chocolate, serve as an example of what can happen if you choose for your happiness.
Be sure to visit his page La Vie en Rose Curaçao to see his work, believe me when I tell you it is worth a visit.