Sisters, Maddie (’07) and Kiki (’06) Longo are no strangers to shared experiences, both having completed Psychology degrees at Trent Durham GTA alongside each other. Now, the sisters are building themselves a BBQ entertainment empire. This niche that they have carved out has the pair teaching specialized classes on the art of smoking, hosting web series and podcasts, making television appearances, and working on marketing their brand. All this, to lead up to their ultimate goal: a network cooking show.
“We are to BBQ as Aerosmith is to rock and roll,” Maddie Longo explained when asked what exactly a BBQ entertainer is during the Whitby Chamber of Commerce’s Speaker Series, sponsored by the Durham Workforce Authority on Thursday, October 10, 2019.
The pair were the most recent guests featured on the Chamber’s Speaker Series, which is all about “celebrating young entrepreneurs in partnership with post-secondary institutions,” said Natalie Prychitko, CEO of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce..
The series explores the stories behind some of Durham regions most successful young entrepreneurs. Maddie and Kiki were the perfect fit with their energetic personalities, one-of-a-kind relationship, and unique take on reimagining the art of grilling.
“These are our future leaders, business owners, employers. It’s important for us to wrap our arms around young people in our community and support them as they pursue careers,” explained Ms. Prychitko.
The highlight was hearing Maddie and Kiki talk about the journey to where they are now. They admit they made quite a few mistakes, but keep on having fun and learning as they go. Looking to their family for support and mentorship has been especially important for these sisters.
For this dynamic pair of Trent Durham alumni being able to combine their passion with knowledge and skills picked up during their studies at Trent Durham is what makes them so successful.
Maddie and Kiki finished their interview with some advice for students who are unsure of their future path: “continuously learn, move forward, and just do something to figure out where you want to be.”