We had the good fortune of connecting with Erik Cavazos and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erik, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Oh my… Where to start… I have been taking risks all my life, some calculated, and some, just a hope and a prayer… At the end of it all, some of those risks didn’t always pan out, but I wouldn’t necessarily say, that the direction taken by a few of those risks, weren’t a direction needed. In other words, sometimes “a hope and a prayer” do work in your favor. I have found over the years, that my intentions or my risk taking didn’t always go as planned, and I’m OK with that. I learned a long time ago that “people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan”. I wish I could say I followed that – I mean, I may somewhat more these days, but as a young man, that wasn’t always the case.

I’m 46 years old, and I have been taking risks, sometimes without a plan, since I was in my teens. Whether it was auditioning for a part in our high school choir, or trying out for a position on the baseball team, I always just had the mentality of, “if you don’t try, then how will you ever know”, and I couldn’t live that way.

After college, I moved to New York to pursue a career in Music (Opera). I mean, why not! I sold everything I owned, left with a buddy one day, quit my job locally, and just left with $800 to my name. I was from Texas and moving to NY!!! Hec Yeah! Massive Risk, and I’ll tell you what, that took me down one of the best roads of my life. I started a 11 year career and business owner in the Digital Litigation field, and NOT Music! Who would’ve thunk?? I met my Best Man up there, an Irish Men from Dairy, and that’s because I didn’t even have a girlfriend at the time. I met long time friends who I still stay in touch with today.

Fast forward, 911 happened to America, and I left, moved to Texas, and by 2011, I started to do, more aggressively, what I had always done since college, BBQ. Of course, I took a singing role here and there and even sung at Moores Opera House in Houston, but I always took risks on my BBQ, all the time, taking chances elsewhere, like partnering in a business in the Litigation Field, singing in Opera Houses, getting married, etc…

Fast forward, in 2015, I quit my current Marketing Job, to grow my BBQ business FULLTIME! Scared, no true plan, wife and family on board (I think they were), and just hit the ground running. It is safe to say, that my “RISK TAKING” life, although dangerous and scary at times, has always lead me in a positive outcome. I may not have seen it at the time, but down the road, it made sense.

I am about to embark on another HUGE Risk with my business, and failure is NOT an option. It’s safe to say, that without RISK in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’d like to believe that my true art is music, as I have a BS in Vocal Performance, and I am a classically trained singer. However, I have taken my art and turned it into BBQ – WEIRD isn’t it?! In music I was able to give others a bit of myself, of what I felt, and what I wanted them to feel, like a true performer should. I was able to interpret a great piece of music and make it my own. In BBQ, I am able to accomplish the same thing through my Catering. I take each event I do as my personal Stage, and it’s my time to shine, to entertain, and to provide for others. I have a great and amazing team who help and share the same passion that I have. Putting smiles on people’s faces one bite at a time.

I’d have to say that my personality and entertainment is what separates my business from others. I mean, the food has to be up to par, or we wouldn’t be in business, but that goes without saying – everyone has great food. I have to bring personality and kindness to my customers, in hopes that they stay, use me again, and recommend to others.

We truly “cater” to our customers, in every sense of the word. I don’t want to just have a catering business. I want to have style and personality. When my customers think of Q’in It Up BBQ, I want them to smile, and have them remember a time when we met, or catered them or the first time they tasted our food. Getting to this points wasn’t easy, but I don’t know anything in life, that’s easy, that’s worth doing. If it’s a challenge, then I want it. LET’S DO IT! BBQ DONE RIGHT!

Speaking of challenges, I have had many, I mean many along the way, from family issues, because the business is dragging our finances down, to almost losing our home, to being on the brink of shutting everything down, and the list goes on and on. BUT, there has always been a constant, and that is, I don’t give up! My lovely family doesn’t give up! Q’IN IT UP DOESN’T GIVE UP! Sometimes overcoming challenges doesn’t mean you’ve found a solution or the answer to move forward, it sometimes just simply means, that you’ve found a way to push through, and deal with the challenge head on. And guess what, it doesn’t always work out, AND THAT’S ok! Keep your chin up, ” hope and a prayer “, take risks and be smart along the way!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well that’s easy! And in no certain order…

1. BBQ on the Ranch and everything that lifestyle has to offer
2. Authentic Mexican Food
3. Making food in a open flame in a huge “Disco”
4. South Padre Island
5. And just hanging with great people at a local venue

1. BBQ’ing on the ranch, in the middle of nowhere, is how I grew up. It’s just what we did on a weekly. There is so much to take in and enjoy outdoors in this neck of the woods that you don’t get elsewhere.
2. I am Hispanic and grew up with the traditions of Mexico. There are very few places, outside of South Texas, where one can enjoy a true authentic Mexican Meal. And all it’s traditions. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some great “big chain’ place that serve up great Mexican food, but if you wan’t to truly engulf yourself, in what it is to eat food from across the border, then it’s the Mom & Pop places of the area, that do it best.
3. This is probably one of my favorite. Open flame outside doing tripas, or canitas, or mollejas. It’s greasy, it’s yummy and like nothing else you have ever had. This really is a treat and show to watch and eat.
4. SPI – nuff said! one of the hottest Spring Break destination points.
5. There are so many eateries and and local pubs in our area run by some great people. I don’t know where to start. We may just have to jump from place to place.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To my Wife, Rose Marie Flores-Cavazos


To all my friends and family, along the way, for your continued support and encouragement. Every step of the way, there was always that one person or select few either pushing me or holding me back. I want them all to know, that whether you were the “Pusher OR the Nay-Sayer”, both were right – That’s where RISK comes in play.

Website: www.qinitup.com

Instagram: qinitup01

Linkedin: Erik R Cavazos

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rgvqinitup/

Youtube: Q’in It Up BBQ

Image Credits
William Villarreal (Chef)

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