Founding Owner, Café Consciente
Cristina is the founding owner of Café Consciente, a restaurant that facilitates the inclusion of people with disabilities by providing them with job opportunities and training in customer service, often offering them their first job. Through their work and trainings, these employees learn valuable skills and earn an income, which is an essential step towards independent life and gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and obtain recognition as valuable members of society. Out of Café Consciente’s 29 employees, 14 have disabilities and Cristina is committed to providing them with the best tools and work environment to grow and lead an autonomous and self-fulfilling life. Café Consciente aims to connect the neighborhood to an inclusive dining experience, giving their costumers the chance to experience, be a part of, and learn more about inclusion and the ways it can positively impact the world. The name of the restaurant, meaning ‚ÄòConscious Café,’ aims to raise awareness to the importance of this matter and as well as the importance of focusing on peoples’ capabilities rather than their disabilities. Cristina is also a founder of a retail store “La Tiendita de la Pi√±a” (The Pineapple Store) that serves as a collective space for businesses and enterprises sell their products. 100 percent of the commission on sales from the store goes towards labor inclusion of young people with disabilities who work in Café Consciente. Driven by her mission to make this a more inclusive world, Christina aims to positively change the way people approach inclusion and see disability as well as contributing to responsible consumption with the belief that a purchase with a purpose can make a collective difference while also giving back to one’s community and the environment.
Cristina holds a degree in International Relations and Foreign Trade from the Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Prior to her current line of work she founded a marketing consulting company and served as CEO and marketing strategist for 3 years. She has experience in marketing, strategic planning, new product development, brand management and public relations.
What Cristina hopes to gain from the VV GROW Fellowship:
Cristina hopes to gain new business management skills and learn tools and processes that help improve the work she loves and in consequence, improve the lives of the people with disabilities that her business employs. She hopes to be able to find more creative solutions to grow and expand the impact her business generates in her community. She is also eager to learn from the trainers and other fellows through their experiences.
What Cristina can offer other fellows:
Cristina wants to raise other’s awareness of the importance of inclusion and the value that people with disability have in their communities. She can offer her experience working with people with disabilities including insights about hiring people with disabilities.
Connect with Cristina on Social Media:
Facebook Page (business): https://www.facebook.com/CafeConscienteGt/
Facebook Page (personal): https://www.facebook.com/cristina.massanet
Instagram (business): @cafeconsciente
Instagram (personal): @crimassanet
LinkedIn (personal): https://www.linkedin.com/in/cristina-massanet-69773419/