Writing means sharing. “It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, and opinions.” Paulo Coelho Gemma believes that great meals always start with simple ingredients. Better known as Tamara Douge, Gemma is the Caribbean food and lifestyle blogger behind Caribbean Green Living, the website where she shares her culinary creations and promotes healthy living while bringing awareness about the Caribbean Culture. Through her website, Gemma is connecting and educating people with helpful resources to improve their cooking and lifestyle, while increasing their confidence to a happy and sustainable happy life. Born in Haiti, Gemma started cooking at the age of 8 under the watchful eye of her aunty Jeanne because she refused to let her cook in peace. Gemma’s creativity and eagerness to learn about ingredients, spices etc.… proved to her parents that she would be the one entertaining and catering all family events.
After achieving her graduate degrees, Gemma felt her heart was empty. She found that working in the corporate world did not provide the happiness she craved. She started to devote her creativity to exploring different cuisines and foods, and recipe development Because of her free spirited and adventurous mind, culinary school was not on her goals’ list.
Gemma started blogging in December 2012 as a hobby to share her creations and culinary expertise. In early 2014, after one of her “motherly chats” with her mom, she realized that the canvas of Caribbean Green Living needed to be extended. By allowing family, friends, and strangers to help her with her venture, Gemma has created a successful website that has been enjoyed by thousands of people around the globe
Gemma often daydreams about new recipes and to all who knows her best, quiet mornings are the best time for her creativeness to flourish. After Gemma perfected the art of being a great helper in the kitchen, her first real cooking lesson with aunty Jeanne was to learn how to make rice and beans and meat with creole sauce. This was the beginning of her relationship with pots and pans.
In her spare time, Gemma enjoys dining out, tasting different cuisine and learning about other cultures. She enjoys watching a good drama or comedy movie and traveling the world when she can.As far as gifts for her, you can never go wrong with something related to the kitchen.
Gemma feels very blessed to have had many great people that have inspired her and she knows that she has many angels watching over her.
If you wish to learn more about Gemma, try one of her recipes or check out the useful tips she shares, you can email her firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn Her Story
SB-L: Tell us the why behind your business TD: The idea of being self employed is not only gratifying, it allows you to do what you love. I enjoy cooking and making people happy with food. What better way to bring some happiness into my life? Caribbean Green Living started as a hobby, to share my creations, to teach friends and family how easy it is to create delicious meals. I love my freedom and the flexibility my business provides me allows me to be creative, to be expressive and to have fun. SB-L: What major challenges did you face when you were setting up your business and how did you overcome them? TD:We all face the normal challenges when setting up any types of business. The one thing no one can teach you is to be comfortable in your own skin while facing those challenges. While setting up my business I feared the unknown, the future and society. I usually watch Joel Osteen on Sundays. Many times it felt like he was talking to me directly. One of my favorite Joel Osteen’s quote, “Quit questioning God and start trusting Him!” I used to question myself a lot and now I am better. I have accepted my new life, my new analytical way of thinking. Although I am my worst critic, my new life has giving me more wisdom. A person very dear to me said one day that he loves the new me more than before... That brought tears to my eyes. My prayers were answered. I was getting better; I was becoming the person God wants me to be. SB-L: Who has been the greatest influence on your since starting your business and why? TD: My mom! She passed away 2 years ago and I can still hear her, feel her guidance. It is almost like she’s my guardian angel. Now the real question is, do I believe in ghost? Of course! LOL
SB-L: What is the vision for your business and where do you see yourself 5 years from now? TD:The vision for the business??? I have been struggling with the vision for a while because I want to do everything I can, follow through every idea. At this time, the vision is to continue bringing awareness to the Caribbean way of cooking with natural and fresh ingredients, living a healthy and stress-free lifestyle. SB-L: Our community motto is share your secrets and share your success. Please share 1 secret and 1 success with our community. TD: One secret: listen to your elders and be true to yourself. One success: I worked hard on myself, prayed a lot and now I have peace of mind.
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