Last month, the Osceola Chamber and Travel + Leisure Co. were proud to present the “Champion Award for Supplier Diversity” to Nelson Mendez of RICO FOODS dba Mr. Cappuccino. This award recognizes a Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) company that has been in business at least three years and is a member of The Osceola Chamber.
A few times per year, The Osceola Chamber teams up with one of our Champion Level Members to present a “Champion Award” to a smaller business or individual entrepreneur. Each Champion Member has the opportunity to choose an area of focus for their award that speaks to their mission as a company, role in the community, or whatever qualities or actions they wish to celebrate. Travel + Leisure Co. chose to highlight the importance of supplier diversity with their award. In the presentation, Chamber President & CEO John Newstreet stressed the importance of partners like Travel + Leisure and the collective work that is accomplished by all members of The Osceola Chamber.
“Our tagline is ‘Business Works Better Together’ and this award is a clear example,” he said. “We appreciate Travel + Leisure’s sponsorship and we are proud of Nelson and all he has accomplished. We look forward to supporting him to even greater success.”
Jose Nido, Vice President, Global Supplier Diversity at Travel + Leisure Co., was also present for the presentation and added, “Supplier Diversity is in our DNA at Travel & Leisure. Mr. Cappuccino is a perfect example of the needs and the benefits of having a focus on supplier diversity. In fact, he has one of his machines on our executive floor just outside of the CEO’s office.” Mr. Nido also highlighted additional examples of the Travel + Leisure commitment to supplier diversity before presenting the trophy to Nelson.
Nelson Mendez, also known as “Mr. Cappuccino,” has spent thirty years in the hotel and restaurant industry. Mr. Cappuccino founded family- and minority-owned RICO FOODS in 2004. He spent 13 years in the coffee industry where he recognized that commercial coffee service (in shops, restaurants, and offices) and premium coffee vending was an emerging trend with great potential for growth. Using state of the art automatic Italian espresso coffee & cappuccino “Bean to Cup” machines, combined with unique European flavors imported straight from Italy, Mr. Cappuccino discovered the market potential for this business both in the states and abroad. To date, he has placed more than 1,000 premium coffee machines in Venezuela alone.
Nelson said of the award, “I am very grateful to The Osceola Chamber and Travel + Leisure for this recognition. Mr. Cappuccino is an SBA-approved franchise with a huge market potential and a much smaller initial investment than most businesses. As a minority small business owner, I want to offer the same opportunity that I have experienced to others. This award will help amplify my efforts.”
About Travel + Leisure Co.
As the world’s leading membership and leisure travel company, Travel + Leisure Co. (NYSE:TNL) transformed the way families vacation with the introduction of the most dynamic points-based vacation ownership program at Club Wyndham, and the first vacation exchange network, RCI. The company delivers more than six million vacations each year at 245+ timeshare resorts worldwide, through tailored travel and membership products, and via Travel + Leisure GO – the signature subscription travel club inspired by the pages of Travel + Leisure magazine. With hospitality and responsible tourism at the heart of all we do, our 19,000+ dedicated associates bring out the best in people and places around the globe. We put the world on vacation. Learn more at travelandleisureco.com.