Kristy Socarras Bigelow
Little did I know how great this experience would be. We feel fortunate to have CUBA CUBA still serving Cuban food to Colorado ten years later. Many of our staff and clientele have been with us for most of those ten years. Much like watching my three kids grow to the ages of 2, 3 and 7, I look back at CUBA CUBA, which I refer to as my first child, and say to myself, where did the time go. Meanwhile, lucky to have experienced all this while working alongside my younger brother, chef Enrique.
My expectations were modest. I wanted to create an environment that reminded me of my home in Miami, which I still miss. Most importantly, I wanted to introduce Cuban food to the Denver diners. I am happy to say that Colorado appreciates lechon asado, picadillo, paella and platanos as much as we do. Not to mention the Cuban cafecitos and Cuban treats such as pastelitos and flan. An added bonus came with all the genuine interest in my history, culture and family. Our guests became our friends and has made CUBA CUBA my home away from home.
I thank my father, Jorge, a Ricky Ricardo clone, who suggested we put the Cuban classic, mojito on our menu. We were the first restaurant in the area to feature the cocktail, and we quickly became known as “the mojito bar.” And of course one can not fail to mention the added bonus of having Andre, superstar bartender, designing creative drink lists and mixing up Cuban classics with a modern twist.
As I mentioned before, owning a restaurant is very much like raising children. You never can get it completely out of your mind. I wake up in the middle of the night, worried about some last minute detail involving the restaurant, and yet I am still happy, ten years later.
So much so, that we have decided to open a second Cuban restaurant in Boulder with the help of our partner & friend, Lourdes Sanchez, a fellow Cuban and Boulder resident. We hoped to create an inviting atmosphere that will focus more on being a sandwich shop and less on being a bar. We offer the original sandwiches and some Cuban dishes. We have incorporated the taste of cuba cuba, yet more casual.
We are excited and hope to see you in Boulder.
I was born in rural Matanzas, Cuba one month after Castro's revolution. I moved to the states with my family in 1965, quite literally with only the clothes we had on, fleeing harsh living conditions under Castro's regime. We lived in Connecticut until 1973, and then moved to Miami to be near expatriated extended family.
In June of 2000, I moved to Boulder with my former partner Amy DeWitt and opened The Cream Puffery, a quirky eatery and pastry shop that featured Latin fusion delicacies. After several months in business, customer demand for authentic Cuban dishes prompted a menu expansion to include the classic Cuban sandwiches, Ropa Vieja, Picadillo, Puerco Asado as well as some obscure dishes plucked from Sanchez' youthful memories. The Cream Puffery won numerous awards and was a favorite dining and hang spot for loyal customers from Boulder to Denver.
During the first year of operation, Miami Cuban Kristy Socarras Bigelow visited The Cream Puffery and became fast friends with my partner and I. Socarras was in the process of opening a full service Cuban restaurant in Denver, CUBA CUBA Café & Bar. It opened to enormous acclaim, winning numerous awards with her talented brother Enrique Socarras at the helm as Executive Chef. Our association and affection grew as we each became fans of the others' eateries.
I joined the CUBA CUBA Café & Bar team as Restaurant Manager in 2008, after closing The Cream Puffery. I felt truly in my element as an integral part of a culinary team dedicated to merging long established Cuban cultural distinctions with fresh, developing food trends.
After ten successful years Socarras and her brother, Enrique, made plans to bring CUBA CUBA to Boulder in a new package, CUBA CUBA Sandwicheria. I am proud and excited to be a part of this new venture, with legitimate expectations that it will successfully manifest both The Cream Puffery's and CUBA CUBA Café & Bar's reputation for delivering satisfying and entertaining culinary experiences for its patrons.