Q: Where were you born & raised?
Julio: Peru, South America.
Q: What is your role at Canggio?
Julio: I’m the owner, the executive chef, dishwasher, referee… everything you can possibly think of.
Q: When did you open Canggio Restaurant?
Julio: August 21, 2017
Q: When did you enter the restaurant business?
Julio: Right after high school, I started helping my dad in a restaurant. My first job was as a dishwasher at a restaurant in West Springfield, MA. From there, I began working for all kinds of restaurants—French cuisine in West Hartford, Mediterranean in Bloomfield, Greek/Italian in Hartford.
Q: What was your most fulfilling moment working in the food industry?
Julio: When I worked at J Restaurant and Bar in Hartford, my first executive chef job, I got to cook for a lot of people I never in my life would have imagined I’d have the opportunity to cook for. I’ve cooked for Andy Grammer, Jason Alexander, Bob Newhart, and John Leguizamo.
Q: Why did you decide to open in Norwich?
Julio: People here are great. Everyone gives you their hand and is so ready to help you succeed. One thing that we, as Norwich, have is that we work together.
Q: If someone was trying to open up their own business or restaurant, what advice would you give them?
Julio: Don’t give up. It’s easy to give up or walk-away. But follow your goals; you need to give yourself time to make it happen. There have been times that I’ve felt that it’s not worth the struggle, but at the end of the day, when I see customers loving the dishes we make for them that they come back for more—that makes it for me. You’re going to have people there to support you, keep working towards what you believe in.
Q: What are you most looking forward to within the next year or two?
Julio: Within the next two years, 1) I want to grow Canggio and make it self-sustaining with the crew that I have and 2) I want to open a prohibition-type bar (speakeasy)…with elegant appetizers and secret entrances, hopefully right here in Norwich. I like the idea of it because I feel it’s new and innovative, and it offers something different. Norwich has given me so much; I feel it’s important to give back to the community that believed in me in the first place.
Canggio’s can be found at 20 Lafayette Street, Norwich, CT 06360.