Name: Cinthya Cisneros
Job: Owner of La Cheve Bakery and Brews
Hometown: Napa, CA
Education: B.S in Chemistry, Secondary Teaching Credential
Q: Describe your path working in the tourism field.
My path in Napa Valley's tourism industry started shortly after I wrapped up my last year of teaching high school chemistry. I worked as a bartender at Stone Brewing shortly after they opened in June 2018 and will be forever grateful for them. I learned so much in so little time from ringing in items to cleaning beer lines and keeping the beer fresh and crisp for our visitors. As I continued trying to figure out our guests' palettes and giving beer suggestions, my passion for beer grew and grew. I eventually got into home beer brewing and working on a business plan to find a home for La Cheve. One year in since opening La Cheve and I cannot emphasize how grateful I am for our community and visitors that have supported us since day one. It still gives me goosebumps. And I'm a chillona (cry baby), so I still do that a lot too.
Q: What do you like most about working in Napa Valley?
I love that Napa Valley has a community that is strongly rooted. A lot of families have been here for generations — some have even left and come back after missing it so much. It's Napa Valley's small community vibe that makes it so contagious. I also love that we have created a space that invites all and I feel so completely blessed to be able to witness this firsthand with my opening of La Cheve. It is very important to me to give back to our community that did so much to get me to this point so of course, being able to work in Napa Valley makes it so much easier to be able to do that. It is our time to pay it forward.
Q: How does being Latinx impact or inspire your work?
Being an undocumented Latina until 22 but being able to get through college with private scholarships, inspired me to make that dream come true for someone else. La Cheve has four scholarships called, "American Dream", two for undocumented students, one for our Latino community and one for low-income, first-generation college students. This is the kind of work we get up for day in and day out — to continue inspiring all in our community to see the best version of themselves. I feel that just being present in the position that I am in, provides an extra helping set of hands to our minority, youth, first-generation college students and entrepreneurs. It is very important to me for our community to see themselves in a position like mine para que le siguen echando ganas.
Q: Is there anything you'd like visitors to know about La Cheve and/or Napa Valley?
Every purchase you make here, is truly supporting a small family and our Napa Valley community. We pride ourselves on our fresh ingredients for our items that we make by hand everyday. Whether you buy a concha with a cafecito, an American Dream Mexican Lager, our top selling Chilaquiles or some traditional tacos, there is something under our cozy little roof you will enjoy. We are a bakery, a craft beer taproom and a Mexican restaurant. La Cheve is literally where you can even bring your abuelita for a beer or two.
Q: What are you most proud of?
I am so proud of my Parents, Momma Juana and Ezequiel. They took a risk back in 1994 to bring me to this beautiful community and country that I owe the world to. They took risks with me again and again to lead me to the most recent and crazy one, La Cheve. As I mentioned before, I am truly in awe of the support we have received. Never in a million years did I ever imagine I would open up a restaurant in Napa Valley — let alone at the oldest building and in the middle of a pandemic. Proud is understatement. I owe our community so much, they have no idea. And of course, my team. They have made La Cheve everything I have imagined and much more. Their kindness, patience and talent...I am so lucky to have them as a part of our Familia. Thank you to mis padres, mi communidad, y mi equipo xingon. Los quiero bien mucho.
Q: What are your goals in the industry?
My goal is to continue serving our community with our creative pastries, beverages and food. We would love it if you all kept us here in Napa Valley forever!
Stay tuned to meet more of Napa Valley's diverse tourism business community!
Cinthya's favorite places to eat in Napa Valley: My all time favorite since I was a kid, are the Tacos de Cabeza from Tacos Chaves (I challenge you all to eat them with their salsa!) I'm also obsessed with the Shrimp + Macadamia roll from R+D (chef's kiss!). Farmstead is a restaurant that I love to try new plates and cocktails...sooooo yummy. OH! And the Mozzarella cheese from Brasswood... oh my lanta. It is so so good.
Cinthya's favorite thing to do in Napa Valley: In my free time I looooove to eat while spending time with friends and/or family outdoors. Our Napa Valley views and weather are just astounding...