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Nick & Andrea Collins talks to Prestige about “The Tasty Trend”

Sylvia: Hello Andrea, we would like to say thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to interview with Prestige Magazine. Also, we would like to say congratulations on your new business venture “The Tasty Trend” which launched on March 16th. So the first thing that our Prestige readers would like…

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Sylvia: Hello Andrea, we would like to say thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to interview with Prestige Magazine. Also, we would like to say congratulations on your new business venture “The Tasty Trend” which launched on March 16th. So the first thing that our Prestige readers would like to know is if you could just give us a little background information on yourself.

Andrea: I actually am a graduate of the University of Florida. My degree is in Food Science and Human Nutrition and so that’s basically me. I’m a wife, I’m a mom of about to be four kids and I started this business venture about a year ago.

Sylvia: Okay, so where did the concept for “The Tasty Trend” come from?

Andrea: The concept came from Nick and my middle son. We have three boys currently right now and our middle son Nmar’e, who is about to be six in less than a month, actually was diagnosed with numerous food allergies right after he turned one so that’s where this whole thing came from. He was allergic to wheat and gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, and so as a mom I just was trying to find a better alternative for him to be able to enjoy baked goods because what I found in the store just wasn’t working for him.

Sylvia: Now, once that concept was finalized what was the preparation process like? Did you meet any or many challenges while preparing to launch the business?

Andrea: Yes, I did. I literally—it started actually where I wanted to do a cookbook at first just because I had a problem with being able to create our prepared meals initially with him, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I started doing that and I was like, “This would be awesome to do a cookbook and have resources for other moms out there to be able to go to if they encounter the same issue as me with their child.” And Nick actually encouraged me to take it from a cookbook aspect to actually cupcakes because that’s what I was starting to get good in is the baked goods part of it and during the process I mean I joked around with it for a little bit but then I actually got serious about it and once I did challenges that I faced basically, to be honest with you, I think being a woman and trying to start a business in a—not necessarily start this business, but I think the hardest part for me was to build out. It was new to me when I was building out my space and I was in an industry where there’s a lot of men and I didn’t really know what was going on and I had to learn things as I went so it was just a little bit challenging, basically.

Sylvia: What are some of the items on the menu and what is your favorite one?

Andrea: So right now I’m only doing cupcakes. I do a gluten-free version and an allergy friendly version. The gluten-free version is–everything I have from the retail side of my website is all gluten-free, but the gluten-free version actually does have eggs and dairy in it. The allergy friendly is the same flavor reproduced, but without any animal products. My favorite on the menu is actually my coconut cupcake. I love it. I think it’s good. It’s like me and my mom’s favorite flavor. It’s also one of Nick’s favorite flavors, too as well. But snickerdoodle is actually a top seller for me.

Sylvia: So you can say the snickerdoodle is the best seller for your customers at this point.

Andrea: Right now, yeah, it’s one of the favorites.

Sylvia: How is your son adapting to his food allergies? It hasn’t been an easy battle for him which I know it hasn’t because he wants to have everything that his siblings are able to experience in the food realm as well as things that he’s seeing when he goes out. So how is he adapting to this?

Andrea: It’s funny that you ask that question because it’s such a simple question, but the minute when you asked it, I actually just—I’m sitting here and I get teary-eyed about it because this has been a challenge for Nick and I for about five years. He takes it very well and I have to give him a lot of credit. At first once he got to the age where he started talking and we would take him to birthday parties and we would tell him, “No, you can’t have cake. We have something special for you on the side,” he would ask, “Well why can’t I have that?.” But I think that once you’re able to talk to your child and communicate with them and communicate in a way that they logically can understand, it helps them where they don’t have to constantly hear, “Well, no you can’t have that,” but then there’s nothing else you can have. It’s like, “No, you can’t have that, but here I do have this for you in replace of that,” and so it’s funny now because he knows what he can and he can’t have. He’s growing out of some of his food allergies, but if he goes somewhere and he’s offered something that’s like one of the first things he asks. He’s like, “Is this gluten-free? It doesn’t have any peanuts, does it? Because I’m allergic to peanuts.” So I have to give him a lot of credit, he’s a great sport about it.

Sylvia: How, as a mother, have you been able to allow the other children, your other children to adapt to what your baby has had to deal with on a daily basis?

Andrea: He has two older siblings and one sibling under him right now. The two older ones we talk to them and just basically say, “You know, your brother can’t have this.” It’s not too much that they eat around him that he can’t have. I try to be able to prepare the meals the same so that everybody can have and he doesn’t feel like he’s excluded or he always has to have something special, but they understand and they really don’t bring it up because I think they don’t want him to feel like he’s different, but then they do understand what he’s going through and they are mindful of it. We do have an older son, he’s a picky eater, he loves peanut butter. We don’t take that away from him, but then he’s very cautious that when I’m eating peanut butter I don’t want to be by my brother, I have to make sure I wash my hands, I don’t want to breathe on him and stuff like that.

Sylvia: Now what was your first reaction to the launching of the business when you first put those cupcakes out there and the public started to really see what you were doing? So what was your first reaction? What was that very first, initial reaction?

Andrea: There are a lot of people that are very happy that there is someone that has come out with this concept and have them in mind. I mean from someone who suffers from celiac disease and they can’t have any gluten in their diet to someone who maybe has a gluten intolerance or a gluten sensitivity or even someone who just chooses a gluten-free lifestyle just because they’re trying to be more healthy or whatever the case may be their response is actually very overwhelming because I get people who hit up my Facebook page or hit me up on Instagram and say, “This is such a great idea. I have a friend who hasn’t had a cupcake in over a year and now I can give my friend a treat.” Or people who say, “Thank you very much for keeping someone like me in mind when you opened this business.”

Sylvia: Andrea what advice would you have for young entrepreneurs hoping to open their own business? Not only young ones, but just anyone, female, male opening their own business one day?

Andrea: The advice that I would have for someone, anyone regardless of age, gender, color, who wants to open their own business is the advice that my husband gave me that if there is something that you’re very passionate about and you’re good at it and you can turn it into a business don’t get discouraged because it’s not going to be an easy ride the whole way. Nick told me this through this whole process, and I have to give him a ton of credit because he has helped me out tremendously and he’s still helping me out, if it was easy everybody would do it. So don’t get deterred when things get hard because it’s not easy the whole way.

Sylvia: That’s excellent advice. Now, Nick, we know about your NFL career. How is this kind of different from what you’ve done in the past as far as pushing your business and really just getting things out there for the public to see making sure that you’re doing things in a positive and just getting that favorable response from the public? So how does that differ for you?

Nick: For me it’s different because I know in this time and age there’s a lot of athletes eating real healthy, watching their diet and everything. I know it’s hard being an athlete because you have to eat a lot of calories just to maintain your weight and I’m a snack person so it was right down my alley talking about the cookbook and all that and I was like I want you start your own cupcake business. And it’s been great. It’s been outstanding and I think for people like myself and people that can’t have the sweets and the gluten it’s just a good outlet to have where one day they’re out and about and they say I feel for a cupcake and Andrea is able to apply that, I mean have that product for them where they can go to a website, they can order online and whatever. So it’s been great. It’s totally different, but it’s been a fun ride. Everything in life is all about a challenge and we was up for the challenge and we gonna see how it plays out in the future.

Sylvia: Now this question is for the both of you. What was one of the most unexpected challenges that you ran into or that you think you might run into while doing this business and what advice can you give to others to try to avoid those challenges?

Andrea: To be honest with you I don’t think that I’ve encountered anything that’s been unexpected, so that remains to be seen. [laughs] That’s my best answer to that question.

Sylvia: What about you, Nick? Any challenges that were unexpected for you in helping your wife out in giving her advice that you would tell others to try to avoid with their business?

Nick: Me, I’m always positive. With the bad there’s always something good that’s going to come out of it so I’m always pushing messages like that and if she encounters something I’m pretty sure she can make it right.

Sylvia: Very good. It’s always good to have that positive backing and those positive outcomes. Now how can The Prestige family, the readers, and the fans continue to get updates on you, the things that you’re doing and your business right now “The Tasty Trend” or if you’ll be adding on anything? How can we keep in touch with you to know what’s going on? Would you like to share things from your social media sites like your website, your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other outlets that you have?

Andrea: They can keep up with me through the website www.thetastytrend.com. I do have social media. I’m on Instagram @thetastytrend, Facebook at thetastytrend.com, and also Twitter @thetastytrend.com. Those are the outlets that I’m using right now for people to be able to engage with me and also see what’s going on with the company and how the company is growing and what direction we’re moving. In the future I would love to expand my business. I think right now launching a retail online site was the best way for me to go to be able to gauge whether or not by the end of the year I’m able to do a storefront and probably open more than one location. Also, I would love to eventually go back to my first venture which would be the cookbook and I’m also interested in—I really want to do an apron line and I really would love to venture out into doing kids’ utensils for the kitchen. I like to have my kids in the kitchen. There’s many people that love to cook with their kids but they don’t necessarily have kid friendly safe utensils so I’m interested in that, but that’s way far in the future. We have to see how this does first before we can even begin to think to tackle that.

Sylvia: Also is there anything else that you would like to share or say to The Prestige Family, readers, and fans at this time?

Andrea: I would just like to say, again, I would like to reiterate that if there’s anybody that has a passion to do something I would just tell them to follow their heart and do it. I think when you’re very passionate about the work that you do when it’s produced I think that passion is shown in your work and when you are doing something that you love it never feels like work, it always feels like you’re doing something that you just really do have a love for. So I would encourage anybody to be able to do it and not be discouraged if you don’t have a whole bunch of money. There’s resources out there that are able to help people who are trying to open their own business and you know, just to never give up. Again, like Nick tells me if it was easy everyone would do it, but I think everyone has the opportunity to be able to follow whatever dream it is that they have on their heart.

Sylvia: Okay, very good. We would like to just say thank you from all of us at Prestige Magazine for affording us the opportunity to help you spread the word about your new business endeavor and we pray that you will have much success and blessings upon you, your family, and your business. And we wish you much continued success and that you’ll continue to have this positive attitude and put out good, positive food for the public because there are so many people that are going through these experiences of having different food allergies and different things. So we want to congratulate you.

Andrea: Thank you, I appreciate it.

The Tasty Trend

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