My two closest friends down here, Keri and Emma decided to open a restaurant. They teamed up with a third partner, Miguel, and rented out the most important corner in the plaza where Heart’s Café used to be.
Emma is an amazing cook and Keri reminds me exactly of my dad and little sister. She can talk to anyone and make instant friends with complete strangers. So that makes a pretty good team for a café/bakery.
But if you think opening a business in the States is difficult, try doing it in a country that doesn’t really function so well. It was a crazy two weeks leading up to the opening. The display stand was delivered with totally shattered glass, orders for machines were delayed, the cook quit, the entire inside had to be redone, the furniture was a month late...I could list a hundred more things. So I spent the week helping out where I could. It was actually a ton of fun, and the engineering/problem solving part of me got to go crazy. Since Sacred Valley Project doesn’t have a ton of stuff to do right now, I was really happy to be able to help. Keri and Emma are the backbone of Awamaki, and by helping them I felt like I freed up more time for them to continue their regular duties. And guess what? A lifelong dream was realized when Keri and Emma decided to say thanks by naming the biggest and best breakfast after me!!! So when you visit Ollantaytambo, eat at La Esquina and order the “El Mauro”. You will not be disappointed.