Trendsetter to Know: Lisa Jaimes-Toon

Name: Lisa Caroline Jaimes-Toon

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Age: 57

Title: Chef/Owner

Married/Single: Very married for a very long time.

Kids: Two lovely girls, Erica and Eva.

City you live in: Born and raised in Mesa, but have lived in Seattle, Colorado and Madrid, Spain.

A typical day in my life includes…

thinking about chocolate, talking about chocolate and how to sell more chocolate. On the phone, cold calling, and checking on inventories. If I’m standing still, then something isn’t getting done.

I was born…

eating chili. My grandmother served us coffee by the time we were five and the salsa bowl was there on the table at every meal.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

the flowering Palo Verde trees in the spring.

I’m listening to…

Outlaw Country, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and always a little Marshal Tucker on the road to our next chocolate festival.

My family…

is my inspiration. My father was an entrepreneur, so I always felt being your own boss was the epitome of being successful. Strong, independent, creative Hispanic women surrounded me in my youth. Who I am is due to the influences of my family and my heritage.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Carry Grant, crazy right? I doubt anyone younger than 50 knows who he is. Suave and debonair. A lost era, a lost culture. Did I mention I was a history teacher? I think I was born in the wrong era sometimes.

One thing I cannot live without…

chili, and a little chocolate every night.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

a chef, or at least cook and get to eat all those wonderful things I watched Julia Childe make on PBS on Saturdays.

I’m inspired by…

my grandmother Carolina. She came here when she was 9. She never learned how to read or write, yet she raised a family of six, made their clothing, cooked like no other and was creative to her last day. Her confidence in facing her challenges was exemplary.

The one person who motivates me is…

me. There was never a discussion that I couldn’t do something, it was only that if I wanted anything I best plan on working hard to get it.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

plastic. I wish we would have thought about the end product of plastic and reconsidered using it so extensively.

The perfect day would be…

coffee already made, not avoid exercising, lunch with the girls and dinner made when I get home.

My first job was…

a hostess/waitress in small coffee shop on Main in Mesa. I road my 10-speed bike to work.

My favorite escape…

camping; no phones, no TV, just card games, Bourbon and campfires.

My life…

has been pretty darn good, I can’t wait to see what the next 30 years brings me.

I’m currently working on…

new flavors to add to the Carolina’s Chocolate line.

Always…

be thankful for what you have and have achieved.

Never…

think that Karma won’t rise up and bite you in the ass.

Favorite Quote…

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Maya Angelou

Biggest Dream…

I thought it was marrying my husband 30 years ago, then I thought it would be having kids, today its hoping that this chocolate thing becomes something, but mostly it’s the hope that we will live a long and healthy life together.

My Pet Peeve(s)…

rude and disrespectful people.



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