This month’s featured #bloomgirl is Corinne DeCristoforo! Corinne is a small business owner and cousin of bloom intern, Lauren! We are so inspired by Corinne's passion and attitude and we love her vibe! Read more about her below!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I was born and raised in a beautiful little town in New Jersey and am now living in Nicaraguan paradise. I'm the owner of a health-food restaurant and cafe, Ding Repair, located in a surf town on the southwest coast of Nicaragua. I own this restaurant with my best friend and soul sister, Carly. Carly and I work to create and serve nutritious and delicious health-food to our community. We have a love of bringing people together from all over the world to connect in our restaurant. I have a passion for using my creativity, especially while cooking. I love my whole close-knit family and friends who inspire me daily. When I'm not in the kitchen, you can find me surfing the waves of Nicaragua. The ocean lights my soul, it is a beautiful escape, I can spend hours on my board riding the waves. I also have a passion for yoga as I practice yoga and meditation every day. I always work to grow and challenge myself to be my best self while enjoying a simple life.
Follow Ding Repair on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dingrepaircafe/
How did Ding Repair get its start?
While I was living in Australia I worked in a cute little cafe/ surf shop. One day my (soon-to-be) business partner Carly walked in, who had just moved there. She was talking about heading to Indonesia soon and I had planned to go there soon as well at that point in time. I had been traveling for over a year by myself so I was very eager to have a travel buddy. Upon hearing her plans, I quickly asked if she would want to go together (mind you we hadn’t even exchanged names yet). With little to no hesitation, she responded, “sure!”. Fast forward, we were traveling Indonesia together falling in love with the cafe culture. Every day we would explore new cafes, feel the ambiance, and eat delicious vegetarian food. We were blown away by how vegetarian food could taste so good. We met so many cool people at all the cafes and loved the communal culture around them. After the month of travel together, we went our separate ways, both so inspired by our time in Indonesia.
A couple of months later we reconnected and started dreaming up a cafe of our own somewhere closer to home with the same vibes, communal aspect, and delicious food. I had visited Nicaragua and Carly had heard about it, Nicaragua was a perfect fit! Surf, yoga, community, beautiful weather, and culture. So, we decided to head down and give it a shot!
The name Ding Repair Cafe is a play on words from the surf term “ding repair”. When you get a “ding” on your beloved surf board you of course, “repair” it. We provide healthy and wholesome food to encourage the same love and attention towards your body!
Our motto is “treat your body like you treat your surfboard”
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My Grandmother, Meema. Meema is the epitome of unconditional love. She has shown me throughout life to enjoy every day, to make sure to take care of your body, mind, and soul. To read, to play in the ocean, to enjoy nature, to laugh and be silly, and to put all of your love into the food you make. I learned how to cook from Meema and that is the greatest gift. I can confidently say one of my purposes in life is to nourish, and that came directly from Meema.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
In 2018, there was a crisis and unrest here in Nicaragua. We had to suddenly shut down our business and go back to the states. We had to leave everything behind, our dream that we had spent 1 year creating, our Nicaraguan family, and our home. After 6 months, once the country had returned to a peaceful state, we returned unsure of what was going to happen next. After a couple of days we fell even more in love with this place and decided, no matter how challenging it will be to re-open, we were ready to give it a try. We re-opened in March 2019 and have been thriving and growing ever since!
If you could talk to yourself 5 years ago what advice would you give?
I would tell myself that the most important relationship to nurture in life is a relationship with yourself! If you have a healthy relationship with yourself you will have a better connection with everyone and everything in this beautiful life, with your own body, and with your intuition (your gut instinct). Having that healthy relationship will lead in you in the direction of your most joyous and purposeful fulfillment.
What are your favorite bloom products and why?
I have 2! They are equally as important!
1). My planner! Owning my own business comes with a VERY busy schedule. I write down every list, meeting, event, and daily to-do in my planner. I also LOVE having my yearly goals that I look at every day. For me, balance is key, so to make sure I am scheduling in some pleasure activities around my business is crucial and having my planner to reinforce that has been life-changing!
2). The large desk calendar! We have it hung up at the restaurant and we write all announcements, to-do’s, and everyone's schedules on it. I can’t imagine life without it!
Do you know someone doing something amazing in your community? Nominate them to be a featured #bloomgirl by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
the bloom team