Connect
To Top

Meet Valerie Penso-Cuculich of No Alibi Media & Uncle Frank’s Salsa in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valerie Penso-Cuculich.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Valerie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Even at a very young age I knew I wanted to build my life around adventure and experiences. I was never the girl who dreamt of my wedding dress and house complete with a white picket fence. Looking back, this is probably how I ended up on FOX television’s hit show Temptation Island – without even knowing what a reality show was. I was following the thread of adventure. During my filming I was much more fascinated with the behind the scenes than any of the singles on the island and it was this reality television experience that eventually landed me in Los Angeles. One day, soon after the shoot ended, I was flown out to LA from Miami to shoot the cover of US Magazine. I never went back. I had my apartment packed up and my car shipped out and my life as an Angelo began.

Soon after my arrival I landed a job in unscripted casting. I mean, who better to cast people on a reality show than someone who has experienced it first hand. After several years of working with some of the best in the business I co-founded my first company Pop Magnet Ent. A full-service casting company that I helped build from the ground up. During that time, I cast many hits shows such as Bravo’s Below Deck & The Millionaire Matchmaker, Chef Wanted on The Food Network, Baggage on GSN & I’m Having Their Baby on Oxygen to name just a few of many.

After almost ten years it was time to move on to my next venture and I formed NO ALIBI MEDIA, a full-service casting and development firm in early 2020. So, if you are interested in being the next reality star or game show contestant visit my website at www.NoAlibiMedia.com and shoot me an email. I am always looking for fresh faces!

My transition from casting to opening a salsa business was an easy decision for me. I didn’t have to choose between the two career paths and following both has been a perfect fit for my adventurous nature. I love a challenge. How does one go from entertainment to food vendor? This is a question I am asked often. I have always considered myself an entrepreneur and I wanted to do something outside of the realm of entertainment that excited me. Being a lover of food and also having a husband who is an amazing cook helps. However, my husband also had in his possession a family cookbook that had been handed down over multiple generations and it was because of those recipes that UNCLE FRANK’S SALSA was born!

My husband and I formed Cuculich Foods in 2019 and we were blessed to be welcomed into Bristol Farms, our first retailer, that year. This was a dream come true for us because Bristol Farms is an amazing upscale market that really focuses on bringing their customers products with the finest ingredients and they are also very supportive of local and female owned companies. When we launched in Bristol Farms in October 2019, we quickly became one of their best-selling salsas and we are currently in development on new and exciting flavors that we are adding to our line, in addition to new products we look forward to announcing. We could not be more excited and we’re proud to be a part of such an outstanding company.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting out in the food business after years of working in entertainment was no easy road. When my husband and I started Uncle Frank’s we knew nothing about finding the right co-packer to produce our product, nutrition labels, distribution, e-commerce, shipping etc.

We thought if we had an amazing product that people loved then we would be a success but, there is so much more to it than that! We made a lot of mistakes along the way and there were days I wanted to pull my hair out but, I knew we had a special product and even with all of the challenges throwing in the towel was not an option.

Another big challenge I faced is running a business with my spouse and trying to balance work and life. This is something we have to work on every day. It’s been a crazy ride so far and we are still learning as we go. I’ve learned that you can’t wait until you know everything you have to take the first step and sometimes figure it out along the way or you will never get anywhere.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
NO ALIBI MEDIA is a nationwide full-service casting company specializing in unscripted, scripted, commercial, host, comedian & celebrity booking. I have over 10 years of unscripted casting experience and have and cast show for Bravo, Oxygen, The Food Network, GSN, FOX, ABC, CBS, E! & many more. My resume along with my eye for talent and my unique experience of being on both sides of the camera gives me the unmatched ability to recognize and relate to potential cast. If you are interested in being on a show be sure to follow us at https://www.instagram.com/noalibimedia_/ Where we post all of our current castings.

UNCLE FRANK’S SALSA comes in four elevated and delicious flavors! Original, Key Lime, Mango & Habanero. It is the freshest tasting jar salsa you have ever had. You have to try it to believe it. Many of our customers tell us they have a serious addiction to it and will eat an entire jar in one sitting. To see what deliciousness, we are up to follow us on https://www.instagram.com/unclefrankssalsa/.

Pricing:

  • Uncle Frank’s Salsa comes in 4 Delicious Flavors: Original, Key Lime, Mango & Habanero. It sells for $8 a jar.

Contact Info:

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in