Successful Local Entrepreneur Takes Talent to Media on That Westfield Podcast!
Name: Amanda Vargas
Family: Jillian Quaranto, Wife
Company name: That Westfield Podcast / Fettle Consultants, LLC
Your position: Host / Founder
Website: ThatWestfieldPoadcast.com / FettleConsulting.com
Email: ThatWestfieldPodcast@gmail.com /Amanda@fettleconsulting.com
Business address: 111 Quimby Street, Suite 3 Westfield
The Publisher recently spent time with local entrepreneur Amanda Vargas, who most know as the former owner of the popular local health food restaurant, Fettle + Fare – as well as through her familiar, friendly presence in the town of Westfield. While she recently sold her business and took a step back for a brief while, we knew it wouldn’t be long until our friend Amanda came back into the spotlight with her newest effort.
And, what a big-time new effort it is! The following provides some of her thoughts as she updates us on her new beginnings in the media space through her new businesses and what vision she holds for the future.
Hi Amanda! Let’s start from the top, especially for some of our new neighbors who may not know you. To recap, tell us a bit about yourself, family, etc.
I was born and raised in Newark and moved to Union County in 2014, then Westfield in 2019. I operated Fettle + Fare on
W. Broad Street from 2017 – 2023 to help those with dietary restrictions have a safe place to eat. Over those six years, we served more than 10,000 customers! It was an incredible learning experience, especially going through the pandemic.
I’m married to my amazing wife, Jillian Quaranto, who is a functional nutritionist. We are both very passionate about helping people take control of their health! We currently live on the south side with our dog, Henry, and two kitties, Duchi and Phoebe.
I’ve been a serial entrepreneur since I was a kid. I have a unique way of looking at the world that allows me to see and understand unmet needs; I love problem solving and creating solutions that make the world a better place.
Before we dive into the big news, let’s take a step back. What was your inspiration behind starting up Fettle + Fare?
After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2007, I learned about diet change and other lifestyle modifications to help me combat the disease. I stopped eating gluten, dairy, soy and processed foods and started working on managing stress and nourishing my body – and very quickly, everything changed for the better. I wanted to bring healthier food options to others because I always struggled to dine out while on a restrictive diet. You’d be surprised how many people also struggle with this…which is why Fettle was such a special place for so many.
After many years and overcoming so many challenges, you achieved success! What did that feel like and, more important, when did you know it was time to move on to your next mission?
Most small business owners open their doors to do what they love and rarely think about their exit strategy. I always knew I would have a short time in the restaurant because of my physical challenges, plus I knew I’d want to pursue other goals. I knew it was time when I felt like I had reached the pinnacle of helping people through food alone. I wanted to make a bigger impact on the world, and had to make the decision to take the leap once again!
Before our main question, can you let us know about your increasing success within the health & wellness space? How were you able to gain continued opportunities in business consulting and coaching? What are you working on for 2024?
Sometimes it seems like success happens overnight, but I’ve been building my knowledge and network since 2011. My unshakable belief in my mission, which revolves around empowering individuals to take control of their challenging circumstances, serves as an unwavering source of motivation. I feel so lucky to live in a time of enormous opportunity; my secret is just actively seeking them out and believing I can achieve anything I put my mind to.
My wife, Jillian, and I currently have several coaching clients and are launching new group health and wellness coaching programs in January to help those who are overwhelmed by all the information out there about healthy living. Jillian focuses on helping women understand the basics of the human body and how it is affected by diet, stress, hormones and the environment. More information can be found at JQHealth.CO for her services.
We joined forces on a program specifically for female entrepreneurs called “Mind Body Business Mastery” where we teach a powerful combination of nutrition, mindset mastery, stress management and business strategy to help mission driven founders thrive and avoid burnout through holistic health. Space in this program is limited, but very impactful.
If anyone is interested in learning more about Mind Body Business Mastery, head to www.mbbmastery.com.
OK, now the main question!
Media! Podcast! Bright lights! Tell us about your new creation, ‘That Westfield Podcast’? Where did you come up with the idea?
After selling my restaurant, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my successes and failures, what I did well and what I wish I did differently. I knew the success of building my business was partially due to telling my “story” and authentically connecting with my customers. I also realized I should have put more time and attention into marketing my business, but I just felt like I never had enough time. Plus, I wanted to help all my local business owners that I came to know and love over the years.
So, I came up with the idea of doing a video podcast where our local merchants and service providers could tell their story in a way where their drive and passion could really shine. Print and digital marketing is great and gets us in front of people (just like what’s happening right now as people read this), but seeing and hearing someone speak passionately about what they do just takes that connection to another level. We all do this on social media when we post ourselves, but when there is another person interviewing you who can see and bring out the best in you…well, it’s just really special.
Can you walk us through what the podcast will look and sound like? What is your content mission, who is your audience and what are you going to convey?
We went all out building our studio on Quimby Street in downtown Westfield! It has top of the line professional audio, lighting and camera gear. We really wanted to bring the highest quality product to the business owners and to the community who will be watching. No one likes to watch or listen to low quality content, so it was important to start there.
The mission is two fold: First, we want to help the business owners get out there and show the best of themselves and their services. Second, we wanted to create a lot of value for the community. I used to walk around downtown Westfield and have no idea what some businesses actually did. Some businesses offer way more services than what their signs might convey. We have almost EVERYTHING we could need in this town (or within a mile or two of the border) and if we want Westfield to maintain that small town feel, we need to support these owners. I see That Westfield Podcast as a way to bridge the gap that’s been created between businesses and customers since the pandemic.
Is the show only featuring Westfield businesses, or surrounding towns as well?
We will primarily focus on Westfield businesses, but we all know and love other businesses in Cranford, Garwood, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Mountainside and Clark….so you will definitely see a few other towns represented in some episodes! If you’re a business owner interested in being on the show, let’s chat!
Will you also interview other folks from around the area, as you say the “movers and shakers”?
We all know there are some really cool, interesting people who live in or around Westfield that would make great guests! For example, we have the amazingly talented Garrett Vogel, the producer of the Z100 Elvis Duran Morning Show (among many other things) as our first guest to help me kick off this series on October 30th! And of course, I’d love to have my dream guest, John Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls on the show. (John, if you’re reading this, call me! haha)
How do the local residents get involved – where and when can we tune into your new podcast?
The best thing you can do is watch and share the episodes to help the local businesses. Send episodes to friends and family who may benefit from the information! If you’re like me and don’t have much time, the platforms allow you to speed up episodes to get through them faster. Please also subscribe and turn on notifications so you get notified of new episodes.
The podcast will be available on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcast. You can type “That Westfield Podcast” in any of the search bars and we should appear. We have all the links to these platforms in our Instagram Bio and on our website: www.thatwestfieldpodcast.com.
On Instagram, we will post previews of each show so you can get a feel for what we’ll be talking about, so definitely follow us there! (@thatwestfieldpodcast)
This is such an innovative approach! You’re combining accelerating media technology and providing the audience with an entertaining broadcast featuring local business owners who need to work so hard to build critical awareness. You, personally, know how difficult it is to launch and sustain a small local business, so every opportunity these business owners have to tell the town their story is so vital, correct?
Absolutely. Sometimes as owners we get so caught up in the chaos of the daily operations that we lack structure, planning and execution around marketing. A business can run this way for years, but it eventually catches up. It not only leads to your business growth becoming stagnant, but also leads to burnout. Being on That Westfield Podcast also comes with extra promotion including a TAPinto Article and space here in this magazine! It’s the best way to get in front of thousands of people.
What other services does Fettle Consultants offer to local businesses other than promoting them on That Westfield Podcast?
That Westfield Podcast is just one part of what we are now offering to help small businesses grow in this area. We help owners take back control of their marketing and dominate their niche in this hyper local and saturated area. We take the time to fully understand the journey the business has been on and map out a plan for long term success.
We help business owners take a unique approach to marketing by understanding the psychology of their customers in order to engage them and increase sales. We create unique, engaging content they can use for YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and email marketing, all made in our studio or inside the business.
We pride ourselves on delivering a great value in a time where most agencies charge $5-10k/month for content and strategy that just doesn’t move the needle.
If anyone is interested in learning more about how we can help, they can visit www.fettleconsulting.com and book a call with Amanda.
How can others learn from your commitment and inspiration? What’s most important to success?
That’s a big question! The honest answer comes down to two words: self awareness. The better you know yourself, the more successful you will become. You must learn your strengths and weaknesses and navigate failures (bumps in the road) with efficiency. It’s great to have goals, but we must also be realistic about our output capabilities. Lastly, success looks different for everyone. For some, it is building a big company that makes lots of money, for others, it’s building a balanced life with time for family, work and hobbies. Know which person you are, point, and run with it.
How can a local business get on your show?
Email Amanda at ThatWestfieldPodcast@gmail.com and we’ll get in touch!
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