Alicia is the owner and manager of Menchie’s in Lake Nona, a wife, and a mom of three. She is also a Nonahood resident. Check out our interview with her below!
NHN: What is your job?
AC: I’m the owner of Menchie’s. I’m considered not only the owner but the manager.
NHN: What does your day-to-day schedule look like?
AC: It depends on what needs to be done. 90% of the time, I’m here at the store. A lot of people don’t see me most of the time because I’m behind the scenes, but I’m easy to reach.
NHN: What would you say are the most challenging aspects of your job?
AC: I think the most challenging part would be making sure that all my team members are available and that I’ll be able to schedule them according to their school schedule. We take a lot of consideration when it comes to what they’re doing in college or high school to make sure that they’re available, and work doesn’t interfere with their schoolwork; for us, it’s very important. Besides that, the machines. Making sure that they’re working right and they’re producing the product, making sure the output is correct, like, is it at the right temperature and everything. You check that on a daily basis.
NHN: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
AC: I have seen a lot of kids grow up in the area. I have seen people that were pregnant that now, their kids are seven or eight years old. I’ve seen kids that were in elementary and now they’re high schoolers, and middle schoolers who are now in college. I think the most rewarding aspect of my job goes back to seeing everyone here, the people that come, and to see them grow. With my team members, what is rewarding for me is when I see them leave the store, and they’re reaching their future; they’re reaching what they studied for. And that, I think, is the most rewarding. Knowing that we were their first jobs, and from here, they moved on to college or university, away or nearby, or they still work during the summer. I think it’s rewarding seeing my team members grow and seeing the community enjoy coming to the store.
NHN: What got you interested in doing your current job in this area?
AC: Menchie’s came to our lives when I was sick. It was discovered that I was allergic to soy, and soy was affecting my bones. After visiting various places with my family to eat, the only place that I found that had a binder with information for me to be able to read and know if I can eat it or not was actually at Menchie’s. That was the only franchise or restaurant at the time, seven years ago, that actually had that binder in place. Any other restaurant, any pizza place, any burger joint that I went to with my family, I was not able to eat. I just had to sit and drink water with them. That’s how we got interested in Menchie’s as a franchise. It was very interesting, and it still is. It’s part of my life.
NHN: Do you have any interesting hobbies, collections or interests?
AC: I love sewing or anything that is manual, like crocheting. I love to crochet. Collections? I collect all the Menchie’s spoons that we have had. For the past seven years, Menchie’s has come out with different spoons, and I’ve been able to grab them. Sometimes I forget about it, but I think I have almost all of them.
NHN: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
AC: Well, we’ve been here for seven years with Menchie’s, and we’re looking to be able to find another location, but it’s hard. When we started Menchie’s here in Lake Nona, it was first because it was near my kids’ schools, and I was able to attend the store at the same time that I was not neglecting my kids and was able to be at their performances or any other activity after school. But, in the next five years, time will tell. It’s hard. I’m not getting any younger [laughs] so, maybe one of my kids takes over? I don’t know. I really don’t know where we’ll be standing.
NHN: What brought you to Lake Nona, and when did you move here?
AC: We moved to Lake Nona as a family 15 years ago, going on 16.
NHN: Where are you from originally?
AC: I am from Puerto Rico. I left Puerto Rico when I was 16 years old, but I’ve been in the Orlando area for the last 31 years.
NHN: What would you say is your favorite part about Lake Nona?
AC: How the area has grown and that we don’t need to travel away from the area to be able to have quality time with our own families and friends.
NHN: What would you say to anyone who is considering a move to Lake Nona?
AC: The first thing, visit the schools if you’re moving here for the schools. The schools have a lot to offer, but every individual is different. You should visit schools because not all the schools have the same facilities for specific children. Lake Nona is a great community, it has a lot of places to go, and the schools are a great fundamental. And visit. Be here during the day, during the night, be part of the community, look at it. Lake Nona is great. I wouldn’t change it. I moved here, and I’m staying here for a long time.