We had the good fortune of connecting with Cristina McCarter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cristina, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I’m born and raised in Memphis, TN. I was raised by a teenage mother who taught me independence, resilience and she never let her fears interfere with my dreams. Memphis is filled with so much creative talent and hustle. When I began embracing the city and its culture my eyes were opened to so many new possibilities.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what sets me apart from others is my niche focus. I decided to focus solely on the food and beverage industry because I noticed early on that it was where my heart lies. I love getting to know the people who make it all happen and building those strong relationships. I am very relationship centric which can be challenging because you take on a lot of emotions especially during hard times. You see the good, bad and ugly behind the scenes of things. At first it used to make me sad but the more that I do my due dilegence and create a great network of like minded people, now I get excited knowing that soon we will be able to help each other full circle. I’ve learned so much since first starting out in 2016. I think knowing there are resources out there for us has been the biggest eye opener. Another would be to never take anything personal because you are a business woman. If they aren’t down for the ride keep riding someone else will happily join you.
When you hear about me I want you to know that I am a Memphian. I want you to know that I have a heart, I’m a black woman that is making her mark in the culinary world uniquely. I want you to see the smiles I share are because I’m living in my purpose and when I make it so will food and beverage industry.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Every time my bestie comes in town we are headed downtown first! We may bar hop around between Belle Tavern, Pontotoc Lounge, or some new bar like Barware. We stroll around and always reflect by the National Civil Rights Museum, take some mural pictures and then catch lunch in Midtown. Before she leaves we may have to stop and get hot wings from Rikos Kickin Chicken because she misses them dearly or bbq from Cozy Corner. We have hundreds of hot wing and bbq spots to choose from.
Eating is key. But bike riding the green line is necessary after that.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mother deserves the credit. She has stood by me through every crazy idea from Kindergarten til now. When I had nothing she provided me with something whether it be a word of advice, a set of pens, or a line of credit. She’s there for me. She lets me brainstorm, express every emotion under the sun and then motivates me to never give up. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t have her in my life. When I was 19 she almost died suddenly of aneurysm. After living through that we both decided to live out life with no regrets. God blessed us both to still have each other here and while we are here I always choose to celebrate her and life and never wait until it’s too late.
I would also have to mention my best friends and business partner Lisa. My friends have helped me in the areas I’m weak in. They have been my volunteer project management team and public relationship consultants because they believe in me and what I’m doing. That’s also trickle over to my newest business partner Lisa Brown. She is heaven sent. I’m never ashamed to announce I didn’t get this far alone. And I’m not trying to be at the top by myself. It’s taken a tribe so the tribe deserves a shoutout, standing ovation and seats at every table.
Alex Antonio Photography Andrea Fenise