(WSVN) - He graduated from college in South Florida, and now, just five years later, he’s a worldwide internet sensation. 7’s Kevin Ozebek tells us how one young man is finding “Succulent Success” on social media.

Nico Norena is in his happy place.

Nico Norena, founder, The Succulent Bite: “White sugar, vanilla.”

He is doing what he loves best: creating another recipe segment for The Succulent Bite. It’s his wildly popular social media site for foodies, based inside his Brickell Key home.

Nico Norena: “Then add your eggs, heavy cream, cake flour and mix.”

Nico Norena: “Succulent Bite started out of a passion for food: food photography, video. I was able to gather a bunch of different culinary experiences throughout my life, and then put them all together into Instagram, which is what became Succulent Bite.”

He founded his company when he was a junior at Florida International University majoring in marketing.

Now, at the age of 28, he has close to two million followers on social media, and he recently won an award for being one of the top 100 influencers in the world.

Nico Norena: “Try that at home and let me know how it goes. Oops! Cheers!”

Nico Norena: “Instagram, we’re at 1,052,000 followers. TikTok, we’re at 637,000. I believe it is, and Facebook, 122,000.”

Those numbers are why big brands like Burger King love to team up with successful influencers like Nico.

Nico Norena: “Burger King just launched their new Ch’King sandwich lineup, and they’re absolutely incredible.”

Nico Norena: “We create partnerships, and we create campaigns that align with these brands, marketing strategies to showcase a product or an event that are revolving around that specific brand.”

Nico makes money by partnering with companies like Walmart, Bush’s Beans, Publix, Instacart and Betty Crocker, among others.

Nico Norena: “Betty Crocker Holiday Treats Baking with Ariana.”

He also partners with his fiancée, Ariana.

Ariana Rueda, The Succulent Bite: “Definitely very proud to see how he has evolved so much — him personally and his brand.

Nico Norena: “Fruit and cheese tray paired with an Absolut champagne cosmo. Wow, look at that!”

Their engagement was announced, of course, on Instagram.

A former marketing classmate at FIU, Ariana brings her own expertise to the company.

Ariana Rueda: “It’s, like, not a job for us. It’s generally – it’s fun to, like, sit down, and when he asked me, ‘OK, I have this brand,’ or thinking of what to pitch them, what ideas to create.”

Nico Norena: “Fresh mango ice cream bars. Look at that. Cheers.”

They also decide which local restaurants to feature, free of charge.

Nico says it’s important to give back to the local chefs and restaurant owners who gave The Succulent Bite its success.

Nico Norena: “They opened the doors to me unconditionally.”

Nico Norena: “But hey, now we have a huge audience that we’re going to be showcasing it to, and hopefully, it’s going to drive business back into your business as well.”

There’s a story in every bite, and for Nico, his story is just beginning.

Nico Norena: “What’s up, guys? This is Nico from The Succulent Bite, and welcome to The Scoop.”

He now has a podcast called “The Scoop with Nico Norena.” It features all things food.

Next year, a Succulent Bite recipe book is on the menu.

But that’s not all.

Nico Norena: “For now, what I can tell you is, Succulent Bite will be in everybody’s homes, hopefully 2022, and it’s coming soon.”

It’s all part of the succulent success of a young influencer on his way to the top.

FOR MORE INFO:
The Succulent Bite

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