From Bagging Groceries To YouTube, This Senior Launched His Own Mexican Cooking Channel And He’s Already A Star
In Mexico, the Coronavirus pandemic has left hundreds of thousands of people without work. One of the hardest hit populations has been Mexico’s senior citizens. Many seniors worked at supermarkets bagging groceries and relying exclusively on tips for their income. However, supermarkets had no choice but to let them go for their own safety once the pandemic hit.
This has forced many seniors to get creative and that’s exactly what Tito Charly has done. He’s launched his own line of food products and a YouTube channel to go with it, where he cooks some seriously tasty looking recipes with the help of his daughter, Veronica.
A 79-year-old former grocery store bagger lost his job because of Coronavirus – now he’s making videos for YouTube.
Carlos Elizondo – or has his family calls him, Tito – is nearly 80-years-old, but he’s not letting his age get in between him and his goals. Thanks to the to Coronavirus pandemic, he lost his job as a bagger at a Monterrey supermarket but he’s since turned that bad luck into newfound fame as a YouTube cooking star.
So far, the new YouTuber has more than 6,000 subscribers to his channel, Tito Charly, and he features recipes using some of his very own ingredients that he also markets through his videos. Tito is basically a marketing genius.
Tito says he’s always had to find ways to stay busy.
Tito is a father of three and an abuelo to six. Since losing his wife his daughters moving out to start their own lives, he’s been forced to find news ways to keep himself occupied.
At the suggestion of a friend, he took a job as a grocery bagger at a nearby supermarket chain seven years ago where he worked a four-hour shift, but that ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
So he decided it was time to start a new career online, which he has done with the assistance of family members. “My wife was a very good cook, my father-in-law as well. I learned more crazy ideas from them than I can think of,” Elizondo says of his culinary creations.
His most recent video shows viewers how to make snacks in celebration of beer’s return to store shelves.
Beer in Mexico has been in short supply ever since the pandemic hit. Mexico’s government shut down all non-essential businesses and in a move that the government now admits was a mistake, beer producers were considered non-essential.
Now that the country is beginning to reopen, beer is once again in production and it’s easier to find on store shelves. So this video idea is beyond timely and perfect.
Grilled cheese with bacon and chorizo, dried meat with piloncillo, and chilaca chiles stuffed with shrimp and chorizo are some of the other recipes that the new YouTuber has posted with the help of his daughter, Verónica.
Tito also markets and sells his own products, which he features in his YouTube videos.
Aside from filming recipe videos, Tito also markets and sells his own artisanal products. He says in an interview with Mexico’s Reforma, that he spoke with local producers of dried meats, chorizo, and cheeses and that they allowed him to label and distribute them as his own.
“They allowed me to use my own brand. With that we started a month ago, I liked it and here we have been giving it hard. My daughter does me a favor to help me receive and fill the orders,” says Elizondo.
Tito sells the products under his own brand, Tito Charly. Meanwhile, his daughter helps him take and fulfill orders and film his YouTube videos.
Many senior citizens were the first to lose their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Mexico, almost exclusively the workers who bag your groceries are senior citizens who aren’t paid by the store. Instead, they rely entirely on tips, with most earning between $200-250 pesos per day (or about $10-12 USD). However, with seniors being at higher risk of Covid-19 related illness, most markets had to let them all go. This left many scrambling for ways to find new income.
Tito says he misses working at the market and that he had worked there for seven years, but that his time was almost up anyway since you can no longer work there past 80-years-old.
Tito Charly posts a new cooking class every Sunday and says he hopes to reach 10,000 followers soon. “I have always been positive. I like to look ahead,” the newly-minted YouTube star says. “Nothing is impossible, there is always a way.”
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