A native Michiganian, Richard Verdoni is First In Command at Taco Universe (Taco-U): a passionate chef on a mission to propel Mexican-infused comfort food into the stratosphere by way of Sanford’s own Black Creek Kitchen (BCK) restaurant, on the river’s edge of Sanford Lake, just a few miles outside of Midland. If customer feedback is any gauge, Taco-U will open on the moon by 2035.
Hard work and prideful, fresh, healthy home cooking have always been a Verdoni tradition. Growing up in Mexico City performing in his father’s circus, Verdoni experienced the tastiest of two culinary cultures in the rich Hungarian flavors of his mother’s side and the authentic traditions of his dad’s Hispanic ancestry. Ultimately, the influence of being raised under the big top and around the market vendors ignites the fire, fuels the passion, and heats Verdoni’s commitment to his menu, customers, employees, and business partners.
Entertaining and feasting as family using necessary ingredients prepared soulfully as a celebration of better times – this is the Taco-U way. Verdoni’s recipes are all about favorable energetics – good food prepared by positive people. His menu is also a nod to the expansive world of flavor he sampled as a Navy officer, as an assistant in the kitchen at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, and from observing when his favorite taqueria hit it big in the DotCom boom.
In 2001, while living and feasting in Mexico City, Verdoni developed the formula for an otherworldly taco he had been serving friends and family for years. The G-taco (“Gourmet”) was born as a mountain of slow-cooked carnitas atop a fresh corn tortilla and crowned with enough intergalactic goodness to induce flashbacks of yesterday’s epic taco memories. In 2018 Verdoni brought Taco-U and his savory taco star to the tri-state area to serve the community through flavorful take out that leaves local diners coming back for more.
As an entity company, Taco-U establishes and oversees standards for conduct, consistency, consumer satisfaction, and employee welfare. Today, Taco-U represents a model for success in Mexican-inspired fast fare prepared on a global scale using essential cupboard ingredients, time-honored marinades, magical teas, and classic cart deserts made to nourish everyone at the table.
Since opening two years ago, BCK has served over 45,000 tacos sold to customers who go out of their way for local street food. In 2021 Taco-U looks to open a second, “model” restaurant in the Greater Michigan area and franchise Verdoni’s vision of repurposing authentic antojitos (“little cravings”) with healthy ingredients, zero preservatives, tastes that expand consciousness and a house vibe that breaks down borders.
From Richard Verdoni and all of us at Taco-U, we hope you can join us.
Groundbreaking work was being done. Design jobs were a dime a dozen. The San Francisco 49ers were coming off another Super Bowl victory. And Nash Bridges was on Friday nights. Above all, design schools, portfolio programs, college and university departments, and creative workshops were brimming with promise and potential. And in May 1996, CMYK launched its first “Top 100 New Creatives Showcase.”
As a quarterly contest juried by top industry professionals, CMYK recognized in print the outstanding portfolio work of aspiring art directors, copywriters, illustrators, photographers, and graphic designers. For nearly two decades, CMYK published the work of over 6,000 award-winning “art students” per the choosing of more than 250 of the day’s most successful creative professionals. CMYK was synonymous with “student work” and became one of the most popular “art school competitions,” publishing work from an average of 30 different schools, departments, programs, and workshops in every contest.
The independent design magazine that could did, until it could no longer do it like it was doing it to or else it would be done. By 2013, the print industry was thinning on top and browning at the edges, and after publishing 55 talent-rich collections of the largest, most scholastically diverse “student design,” CMYK stopped the presses and stepped into the future. CMYK never gave up on the dream. Today, as CMYK officially transitions from DPI to PPI, we’ve taken what shined in print for all those years and made it glow on-screen in a living, breathing monster of an online portal.
Where once you could flip through pages of CMYK, now you can tap, swipe, and click through a bold, confident, invigorated platform for our ever-expanding collection of art and design from aspiring and emerging artists, designers, illustrators, art directors, and copywriters. And while the medium has changed, the concept remains the same. To our supporters in the past: you were the reason we didn’t eventually give up on coming back. To our fans today and tomorrow, this is just the beginning and we plan to give you every reason to bookmark our site.
Until next time, enjoy.
It’s about working hard for everything worth working hard for and living life for everything worth living for, so says this Midwestern interior designer raised on the mean streets of the Los Angeles garment district.
The common thread in Kristi’s work is a rare blend of classicism, color, confluence, and curiosity woven from an adventurous spirit and the aesthetic and ethical fiber of a famed artist/grandfather/mentor. After graduating college, Kristi landed in Los Angeles with double-major honors in Art from Indiana University, before jetting off to Paris to earn a French Mastere in Studio and History from the Paris American Academy of Art & Design.
Kristi returned to the States to explore a successful career in corporate marketing before opening her namesake design boutique in 2011. Some of Kristi’s other passions include fast cars, basketball, tennis, equestrian sports, and her longstanding relationship with GoodWeave in raising awareness and support throughout the design community in the fight to end child bond labor in the handmade-rug industry.
While headquartered in beautiful Los Angeles, Kristi’s project experience extends throughout Southern California via Palos Verdes, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Hollywood Hills, Malibu, Hidden Hills, and Calabasas, as well as down to North Carolina, Florida, and San Juan Capistrano.
NASA’s sonic symphonies serve as both inspiration and metaphor for Clinton’s current venture, Dark Subject. Negative space is what binds all elements together and gives life to everything we create. By working outside the lines, within the shadows, Clinton can carve out a niche as one of the most sought-after CG/VFX designers in the industry.
A science-fiction aficionado, Clinton is living his dream through acclaimed projects for Iron Man, Tron, I, Robot, Sherlock Holmes, Thor, the Mission Impossible films as well as network television and commercial work for Science Channel, American Express, Honda, and HBO. Through his recognizable work, Joe Clinton continues to position himself at the top of his game as one of the best in the business.
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For over two decades now, Allegra Consulting has remained one of the sharpest and most relevant interdisciplinary communication firms throughout Southern California. Why? How? It’s straightforward: When our clients succeed, we succeed. When they shine, we shine. And when they win, we win.
The media may have evolved, but the message remains the same. At Allegra Consulting, detail is the guidepost by which everything else follows. We make sure we know the target market and learn how to speak their language before we start the conversation. If there is anything our 21 years of success in media has taught us, it’s still all about having an intelligent dialogue with your audience.
In matching smart people with smart tools, Allegra Consulting offers an attributable mix of geographic mapping, 360-degree lifestyle, and demographic reporting. Through new prospect pinpointing, psychographic composition, behavior analysis, campaign design and implementation, and data management - the more we know about your reach, the better we can extend your brand.
Allegra Consulting is a highly respected, multi-ethnic, multi-generational team of listeners, thinkers, designers, marketers, and award winners. Our client work has received recognition from the American Marketing Association (MarCom), Hermes, The Webby Awards (Webby), and most recently, The American Advertising Federation (ADDY) for the project we produced for San Gabriel Valley. It’s nice to know people are paying attention.
It’s critical to be in alignment with your customers, constituents, and community. Our motto, “Where Brands Evolve," is part dedication and part motivation to Allegra Consulting as a craft-team of strategists, research experts and visual designers devoted to raising awareness for our clients in a brave and brand new world.
With a powerful message, backed by strong creative design and an implementation plan, anything is possible.