The latest edition of Coffee Cups Up! is finally here! I was able to get an interview with the Editor-in-Chief, Ms. Yolanda Bradford, who is a cooking extraordinaire! She opens up about her life, her cooking experience and also offers valuable advice to everyone. Read her interview below & be sure to click on the magazine to enjoy this month’s edition of Coffee Cups Up!
My name is Yolanda Bradford. I’m from Houston, TX. I graduate from Grambling State University with a degree in Office/Business Administration. I work for an oil & gas corporation as a Senior Travel Consultant. I’m married and we have a daughter in college at Florida Atlantic University. I love softball, music, drawing, writing and cooking. I love to travel and explore new things. I’m a free-spirited person and God is head of my life. What I’ve come to learn, it is never too late to for-fill your dreams and goals, even when you think you don’t have any. That is how I have live my life up until now, not knowing what my purpose in life. I now have a vision. I now have purpose. My life is for-filling, overwhelmingly gracious and joyously prosperous. I would like to dedicate this interview to my father, Freddie L. Stewart, Sr., who recently lost his battle to cancer. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He was my motivator and he gave me strive to accomplish any and all.
1) What made you start ‘Coffee Cups Up!’?
I’m a very spiritual person. When I say spiritual, I don’t mean religious. I mean “spirit guided”. My husband can tell this story better than I can. He tells it to me all the time. You see, I had first started a website that hosted all of my cakes but I was not getting the amount of traffic/views to the site that I wanted. So I began to brain-storm ways of how I could market my cakes/my brand. I slept on. The next morning, right before awakening, a voice came to me and said “create a magazine”. When I woke up, I turn to my husband and said, “I am going to create a magazine for my cakes!” Of course, he looked at me strangely but by the end of the week, “Coffee Cups UP!” was born.
2) Where did your love of cooking come from? How long have you been into the culinary arts?
“Culinary Arts”? I would love to be in the Culinary Arts education but unfortunately I haven’t had the chance. My skills, I consider them talents given to me by God. I love cooking, baking, and the art of it. I see food differently. I’m passionate about my work and I take pride in every cake I bake, every dessert I make and every meal that I prepare.
3) What is your favorite dish to cook?
I really don’t have a favorite dish. I just love cooking. I’ve always had the “knack” for cooking but I never have put a stake into it. Not until now. Cooking comes natural for me. I love to watch cooking shows and learn new things. If I had to make a chose, I love seafood. I love crabs! Fried, boiled or sauté.
4) What do you think is going to be the next big thing in the food world?
I believe International foods will take over the food world. People are getting bored with the ‘usual’ U.S. foods. The food world is so broad, there’s not one simple ingredient to pin-point the food world. People love to eat and food will always be of second nature. What I would like to see in the future are healthier fast food chains like boiled or baked meats. Instead of the fried food restaurants, let’s see boiled, baked, grilled or sauté type of fast-food restaurants that will serve 2 veggie sides and a crystal light drink. J I’m just saying! You shouldn’t have to only get that kind of food at home or at a high-end restaurant.
5) How many dishes do you think the average person should know how to prepare (whether they’re single or married)?
They say the way to a man’s heart is through to his stomach. I normally don’t like to cliché responses but I believe this one is true. When I first met my husband, I had made gumbo. I invited a few friends and family over, he was among them. Well, unbeknown to me, my husband had told his [then] roommate that I was going to be his wife and he didn’t know me from Sally Sue. LOL… we laugh about it to this day. Of course his roommate thought he had one too many bowls of gumbo by then; but we are a true testimony to this day. So to answer your question, a person needs to know at least 3 dishes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!
6) Outside of cooking (and publishing), what are some of your other interests?
I have recently formed a ladies’ group called the “Glam Girls”. It’s a good group of ladies who come together to “Relax, Release, and Relate”. The 3 R’s. We share news, accomplishments, target goals and achievements. We just want to make a difference in life. We’re like a support group for empowering women. We also celebrate birthdays and give back to the community.
7) Where do you get your inspiration for your articles?
My inspirations come daily. I never have a set format for the monthly issues. I like the freedom of expressions without limitations. I will publish newsworthy events, positive role models, information that you never thought would change your way of thinking. I’d like to think that each publication will bring about a change. My purpose for the magazine is to give recognition to everyday people. I want to use “Coffee Cups UP!” as a beacon for the average “Mary” or “Joe”. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around and you don’t have to be a Pop Star, a millionaire, a famous person or the President to get your 5 minutes of fame in “Coffee Cups UP!” magazine.
8) Is there anybody you’d like to interview?
That’s a loaded question. The first answer comes to mind is, “no”. Then retreating back, I will say that I love people. All people are interesting to me. No one person stands out in my mind because success is an open playing field. We all can achieve it, if we believe it. So to interview any particular person would be a blessing within itself. I don’t alienate. If you say “yes”, the interview is on.
9) What do you think is the most challenging aspect to running your own magazine?
Time! The most challenging aspect is having ample time to formulate and publish the magazine… and the second most important that I don’t have much time for anymore is “baking”. My soul purpose for creating the magazine was to showcase my cakes on every advertising page, but my time for baking and publishing has become very limited. So I sacrifice, which then puts a load on me. I just pray to grow old… beautifully.
10) What’s your best piece of advice for someone who can’t cook at all?
The best advice that I can give to someone who can’t cook is to learn how to cook. God gave us 5 senses and the ability to learn reflects in all of them some kind of way. The second advice I could give is shopping at the grocery store. All of the stores, nowadays, make it so easy for even the “challenged” cook. They have everything they should need. You see, “Cooks” will shop counter-clockwise in a store, from wall to wall; from the produce, to raw meats and then the dairy section. The “non-cooks” should shop at the deli where everything is pre-made like salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and soups or in the frozen section. They can even chance it in the aisles for can goods or box meals. But if all else fails, the least favorite is take-out. If you are trying to impress with a meal, order take-out, take the food out of the cartons, platter it up and throw the boxes away!
11) What are your future plans for ‘Coffee Cups Up!’?
I want my brand to expand, gain notoriety and recognition as the next new magazine to hit the stands. I want to transform from “the new online magazine” to the” new paperback” print. I want my magazine to sit next to “O” on the magazine rack!