We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Luna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maria, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started Con Amor HTX as a creative outlet and as an opportunity to work on a project outside of the education world. I’ve served as a teacher, instructional coach, testing coordinator and I wanted to focus on a passion project that would help me share happiness. I became a mother on January 2020 and I had a brief moment where I doubted my talents. My husband was then accepted into law school and while I was incredibly proud and excited for him, I felt like I needed my own outlet. I wasn’t seeking a career change but I knew it was the right time to take a risk and begin my own business. I’ve always loved cooking, baking and styling food so why not take a chance and create beautiful spreads for others to enjoy at their events. I’m slowly finding my rhythm and personal style as I continue to build my small business.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am currently a testing coordinator at an elementary school in Houston. My career isn’t necessarily related to cheese and meats but I provide excellent customer service at Con Amor HTX the same way I do to the teachers I work with. I want my customers to receive a delicious spread of food and have a pleasant experience as they order and receive their product. A smile and positive, memorable customer service goes a long way! As far as cheese and meats go, I am constantly looking for tasty combinations that my customers might like. I’ve been a foodie my entire life and I’m happy that I can use my taste buds to create delicious food combinations. I take the time to get to know my customers and how adventurous they are in regards to trying out new foods. The products at Con Amor HTX are always fresh and quality is always a priority.
Starting a business without any prior business experience has been difficult but where there’s a will there’s a way!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would start off our day by having breakfast at Cypress Breakfast House. Their pancakes taste like actual cake and their coffee is always delicious. Since little kids are now involved in our adventures, we would stop by Fun N Play Indoor Playground to have the little ones get their energy out. This is my son’s favorite spot to run around. If the weather is nice we would take a charcuterie board out to Bear Creek Park to get some fresh air in such a busy city. For lunch we would make a stop at Tacos Dona Lena out in the Spring Branch area. The gorditas and sopes taste just like they do back home. (I actually work less than 5 minutes away from Tacos Dona Lena so ordering from there always makes for happy day!) Another lunch option would be Roostar. This small business has expanded and their food is top quality. You can never go wrong with Roostar.
At some point in this trip I would’ve either baked a cake or purchased one at Take the Cake out on highway 6. Their buttercream and raspberry cake is decadent and a crowd pleaser.
For dinner we could go to my husband and I’s favorite spot, Izakaya Wa out on Memorial. Izakaya Wa has been our go to spot for many celebrations throughout the years.
We’ll make sure our friends are very well fed!
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?
I’ll be a “cheesy wife” and say my husband deserves a major shoutout! He listened to me and guided me when I began telling him about my cheese board business idea. He kept me grounded but also motivated me to just go for it. He’s helped me with deliveries, last minute grocery store runs and taking over house duties when I have back to back orders. My family, friends and co-workers have been ordering and supporting me since day 1. They’ve shown their support by sharing my content, ordering, recommending my products and providing feedback.
Every customer I have had the pleasure to serve has been part of my growth and success. I get better with every order and feel lucky to have others trust me to create products for their events. The cheese community has been supportive and fun to interact with.