What do a 72 year- old former resident of Oregon and a 41 year- old former resident of Margarita Island Venezuela have in common? For starters they are both "extranjeros" living in Ecuador.
Lenny Charnoff left Oregon 6 years ago, thinking he would join the ranks of Cuenca "jubilados". Of course, in his heart he knew Ecuador would be another way to reinvent himself. Lenny quickly started Cuenca’s iPad Users Group and Cuenca Tech Life, a blog about technology news. In early 2016 he was attending a convention in Quito and met David Finnegan, the owner of Productos Terranova, a Quito based Fish Company. The two ex-New Yorkers quickly became friends, and soon Lenny became the exclusive Cuenca Distributor for Salmon, Trout, Paiche, Shrimp, Scallops and other fine fish products.
Kelbert Bortone and his wife Mariana are the owners of ArteSana Bakery. Kelbert, Mariana and their two children left their island paradise in Margarita knowing that the situation in Venezuela would only go from bad to worse. With just a couple of suitcases and 4-months of living expenses, they moved to Cuenca in early 2016. Kelbert worked as a waiter and distributed fresh bread on his bicycle to establish their fledgling business. They soon were supplying Cuenca’s mini tiendas with cakes and breads. Now Kelbert and his wife work seven days a week, and Kelbert often completes the last of his deliveries well into the night.
Kelbert and Lenny met this past January when they were selling their respective products at Bayou Cafe. Since then they are often at adjoining tables at local farmers markets and fairs. You can hear Lenny saying that the only thing better than his smoked salmon is smoked salmon on ArteSana’s Sour Dough Bread. Kelbert never imagined 2 years ago that he would be in Cuenca Ecuador speaking English and selling bread to Gringos.
Come celebrate the one-year anniversary of their respective businesses.