Freddy Diaz: A time of reflection and growth
Living in the here and now.
Covid-19: Interview with Freddy Diaz, President of AlambiQ Inc., a Miami-based mixology consulting firm. Freddy has been educating hospitality professionals throughout the Americas and the Caribbean for over 25 years.
Freddy, we first spoke together in early 2018 when we wrote an article on your international consulting activities in many countries. I imagine the pandemic has had a huge impact on your business. How have you managed to live through this period, both professionally and personally?
First and foremost, I am grateful every day to be healthy and to continue to live my life fully, although differently, regardless of the circumstances. Personally, it has been a time of reflection and growth, an opportunity to reconsider and rethink everything. Meditation has been a big part of my life for a long time and it has especially helped me during these times to explore my inner self and the meaning of my endeavors. I am very grateful to have been able to stay in contact with many bartender friends, whom I consider to be my extended family. I am also grateful to be able to help out and contribute in any way I can to the food & beverage community. Many of us got together to provide donations, but also hot meals and cocktail kits, using the budget of our liquor clients for the benefit of people in need. This has a been great experience and we’ve been able to lift some spirits (no pun intended!). Professionally, everything is shifting to digital platforms for training, which was a bit difficult to get used to, but which has allowed us all to move to new means of communication and exchange. This is essential to continue to provide education through Zoom and other social media platforms. It has kept us busy and enabled us to learn and share, which are key values for me.
What’s been the impact on your activities and business?
Yes, as I was saying, we were definitely hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, by practically eliminating our ability to travel and to organize face-to-face events with many of our clients, especially with those we work with in collaboration with Les vergers Boiron in the Americas and the Caribbean.
What options are you considering during this transition phase?
I am thinking a lot of alternative ways of working, but right now I am living one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, as things change all the time. This is a time for quiet agility and not haste. I try to live in “the here and now”, while thinking calmly and deeply about the future.
What impact has this had on your professional or personal philosophy?
Well, I think a lot of these setbacks are inevitable in life and it was in the air that something would come to upset our lives. These things come in cycles. I lived through the 2008 Recession and I learned a lot at that time, as many businesses suffered as well. So, I was somewhat prepared for this crisis, but the fact it was an “invisible enemy” and the enormous impact it had on me, like on everyone else, beyond anything we had known in the past.
How do you envisage the future and what essential changes do you see happening?
I’m not much for building great expectations or predictions, simply because when you expect too much and it doesn’t go the way you planned, it affects your happiness and can be a source of demotivation. Yes, we all like to pursue happiness and to hope for improvement. But in this case, I think it’s essential "to hope for the best but prepare for the worst”.
Any other thoughts or comments you would like to share?
On my side, I am happy that I was able to at least help out some of our customers in Miami with Les vergers Boiron purées that I had in my freezers. Many bars provided "cocktails to go” and/or drinks delivery and pick-up services to stay in business. I did the best I could to help stimulate their business by donating Les vergers Boiron fruit purees for their cocktails. I also used some of the funds allotted to me to pay our contractors who were out of work. It brought me joy to be able to help others and we need to continue in this spirit of solidarity.