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Entrepreneur serves up tasty tostones at Tostobueno

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Customers are going bananas for a unique Bronx culinary product.

In conjunction with business partners DonClark and Ainsley C. Williams, Pelham Gardens’ businesswoman Annette Alvarez offers local residents a new way to fry.

Known for her company, Tostobueno, which sells plantain-mashing devices that in turn create a dish called tostones, Alvarez said she loves the benefits of running an Internet-based business. 

“It’s like having a storefront without having a storefront,” she said about her main mode of sales for her bamboo boxes.

In addition to their cyber sales, the trio markets their specialty products at various trade shows and cultural events. 

Last month, they attended the 8th Annual Latino Expo at the Connecticut Expo Center in Hartford to network, display the product and of course, generate sales.

Often hosting acclaimed Latin music stars, the Lehman College Center of the Performing Arts, is also a proven locale for Tostobueno-receptive crowds.

The “Legends of Salsa: The Gathering of Salsa Royalty” on Saturday, April 26, at the college provided the Bronxite with another opportunity to present her product.

The Brooklyn native moved back to New York after graduating from law school at the University of Miami. She said she loves the attitude and friendliness of the Bronx, which lends well to maintaining a successful business, she helped create in November 2006.

“There’s something about the people in the Bronx,” Alvarez says.  “They’re very accepting.”

Alvarez links her product to the growing presence of Latino items in the American cultural mainstream.

At various Latin venues, Alvarez said patrons seem to flock towards her unique merchandise.

“When people come up to me, they get really happy,” she said.  “I think they see the product as a validation of who we all are.”

Alvarez sees her product as a source of pride for Latinos looking to both buy quality kitchen products as well as have cultural tools that represent their traditional food. 

In addition to upcoming shows at Lehman, Tostobueno will show product at Macy’s Herald Square on June 3, as well as at the Bronx Week Food and Arts Festival on June 22.

The stylish, bamboo boxes that fashion the savory banana like a cupcake cap can be purchased online at www.tostobueno.com.

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