The last of seven siblings, Mayra Cabrera was born in Cuenca, Ecuador on Valentine’s day 1980. She moved the United States the Spring of 1998 and has flourished here since.
She is passionate about interior decoration and organization. This passion, combined with her entrepreneurial spirit and love for cooking, lead her to take a leap and open Cibus Latin Fusion. All along being guided by her favorite quote: “She believed she could, so she did”.
YOU NEVER TRY, YOU’LL NEVER KNOW
Cibus, born one day, looking for Latin food in Stratford, CT. This was sometime after we had moved from NYC with my husband Anibal and my two children Ariel and Andrick. In the year 2012, the question had come up of whether or not we open a small restaurant if we find an affordable place to rent, which to many may seem like an absurd idea. Well, in July 2013 we were taking our usual route through an intersection when we saw there had been a place that had been put up for rent. Here in the south end a neglected area, nothing too pretty, or even admired. Seeing potential, I excitedly talk to many people about my plan, but most were completely negative because of how the place looked at the time and its location. I keep my head up, ignore certain comments, and continue with my idea. I decide to reach out to the owner of the place, apparently, everything is in order and ready to go. I thought to myself it is a whole lot easier than I had imagined, but of course, at the same time, I was leaving my ignorance aside. Never had I worked in a restaurant, so I was clueless about how it worked or the requirements needed. Still, I signed the rental agreement and planned to open in 3 months.
The best part? The name. Hundreds of names and ideas run through my mind, all common, meaningless, and from there I hear a little voice, “Maa!”. “What, son?”, I reply. “Cibus!” he says. “What is that?” I ask. “It means food in Latin,” he tells me. It’s something different my then 12 -year-old son told me. I told him that there’s no need to say more, it’s okay. The days passed, the whole legal process begins, a real nightmare, nothing is what it seemed. First inspection (prior to opening), I am told the following. “Nothing useful here you have to start from scratch, this place is too old and needs a renovation including the exhaust system”, “You should look for another site if you really want to invest”, “Nobody will come here, no businesses have worked”, “Many owners have passed”, “This area is dangerous”. Hundreds of comments and suggestions… Deep down I had a feeling that told me that I could continue, even without having the means and exhausting all possible resources. The only thing I had left was the desire to continue fighting for my dream and to show everyone that when you want something, you can have it. I will not deny the fact that more than one time I was on the verge of dropping everything. 2 and a half years have passed of paying rent and doing what I could every day. At the time I worked in NYC and meanwhile I continued with my purpose that I would do it no matter how long it would last, but I was sure I would.
June 7, 2016, arrived the most anticipated day and one of the most important in my life. The doors to the public opened and only a couple of days before had we prepared a simple menu, nothing gourmet our plan was fresh and home-style food. It was not too difficult to think about the recipes of the family. The pernil from Dad, the flan of my sister Olga, the Encebollado of my sister Lourdes, and the rest much easier, the favorite dishes of my children and husband. Of course, we could not miss our delicious empanadas which are a tradition of the whole family. The big day, very nervous, but super happy. We had a great reception, much more than what we anticipated. I met wonderful people who were happy about my success. I worked long weeks, 7 days a week from 13 to 14 hours a day. It was a bit impossible to hire people, there were no means. Today it has been almost three years since we served the public and every day we are more happy and grateful with God, as well as with our customers who are the ones that gave us the opportunity to move forward, approved our place, our little Cibus.
Endless thanks for all your support.
- Best fusion Restaurants in Connecticut 2017.
- Best use of small space in Stratford 2017.
- Best Latin American/Spanish 2018 Experts’ Picks
- Best Restaurants CT – National Elite 2018
- Best Holiday Decorations contest winners 2018