Alvaro Elias Insausti

Photo of Alvaro Elias Insausti

Certificate in Restaurant Operations
Owner, tu chocolate

A native of Venezuela, Alvaro Elias Insausti was inspired by his parents, who were both doctors, to improve and to enrich the lives of others. Rather than earning a medical degree, Insausti chose to pursue a business degree and to go to cooking school, thereby gaining the knowledge and the credentials needed to delight the palates of his patrons with wonderful food.        

Upon finishing his schooling, he travelled to New York City to pursue his dream of working in the restaurant industry, but he found limited entrepreneurial and employment opportunities due to the 2009 economic downturn. As a result, he made his entry into the field as a bus boy, determined to ascend through the ranks to become a manager. When his best efforts failed to produce this result, Insausti decided that expanding his knowledge base could be the key to furthering his goal.

"In Venezuela, NYU is considered one of the top places in the world to pursue an education," asserted Insausti. So he chose to earn the NYU School of Professional Studies Accelerated Certificate in Food and Beverage Operations (now the Certificate in Restaurant Operations), and found that his new credential not only helped with his promotion to manager, but also gave him the foundation to launch, with his wife Maria, "tu chocolate," New York's first Venezuelan chocolatier. His goal was to offer the opportunity for people to have the "perfect chocolate experience by combining Venezuelan chocolate with a variety of all-natural ingredients."

At the NYU School of Professional Studies, Insausti learned how the U.S. food industry operates, and how to develop and write an effective business plan. He credits his instructors with encouraging him "from day one," and for offering guidance along the way. "The program gave me the knowledge and the courage to move ahead with an idea and to make it work," he concluded.  In addition to selling his chocolate creations in stores, his products now are also available online.