The Path I Took To The Restaurant Business
Was By No Means A Traditional One
I want to get personal and tell you my story about how I first started in the restaurant industry and the career change I made and the dream I had that became a reality.
I hope my story inspires you to make that move into restaurant entrepreneurship!
I didn’t do well in school, in fact, I dedicated most of my time and energy to playing music, sports, and being with friends.
After graduating from high school with a C average and a certification in dental technology, I decided to go to college. I dropped out…just a few credits shy of getting an associate’s degree in liberal arts with a psychology minor, which I use to regret but obviously not anymore.
I decided to utilize my dental technology certification and worked in dental labs for five years.
Every year brought more frustration, the lack of respect for a woman in a male-dominated field, the inability to be paid a decent salary, but more importantly, I didn’t like what I was doing. I knew I had to look for a new career, and not just a job to pay the bills, one that ignited a passion in me, a reason to get up and be excited about. I was 25 years old I had a skill and job I hated and knew I had to make a change!
I got up one morning and decided to quit my job at the dental lab. I bought a NEWSPAPER and started looking through the wanted ads in hopes of finding a new career and a happier path into my future.
That very same day I saw an ad “Lynbrook Delicatessen” Catering and Deli cook needed no experience necessary, will train.
Being a cook didn’t sound too bad. I sure knew what great food tasted like growing up with an Italian Mom. The fact that experience wasn’t necessary, I enjoyed cooking and felt comfortable in the kitchen, I decided to apply for the job and they hired me on the spot.
I prefer to call that time in life a divine intervention instead of being at the end of my rope.
It was the best entry into the industry I could have asked for.
The owner’s Mom trained me; she was an 80-year-old German woman with a thick accent who had once owned the business with her husband before passing it on to her sons.
My first job in the field was working in a successful family business. When I look back at that time it always brings a smile to my face.
For about 6 months from 7 am to 2 pm 6 days a week, that 80-year-old seriously taught me how to prepare and cook the recipes they had been using in their business for over 40 years. The energy she had and the skills she taught me to set me up for what would turn out to be the CHANGE and the direction I had desperately needed.
The confidence and experience I gained working there gave me the confidence to apply for another job in a restaurant. I started working evenings 4-12 at a place called HOULIHAN’S a casual restaurant chain you may have heard of.
I continued to hone my cooking skills not just still working in the deli/catering business but now I was working nights at a sit-down restaurant.
I continued to work two jobs and learn as much as I could and after a year I got the courage enough to apply for a position as a line cook in an upscale private club in Manhattan and got it.
It was my first chance to work with a European chef and my future was looking better than I ever imagined.
It was a unique opportunity, a total well-being facility with a health spa, fine dining, and a casual bar grill all under one roof on West 57th between Lexington and Park in Manhattan!
I was in love with the industry and loved what I was doing.
It didn’t take too long before I realized I wanted to own my own restaurant one day.
For over seven years I continued to work in several types of restaurants, to get experience in different cuisines and services. I wanted to get a hands-on feel for what I would be the happiest, successful, and confident at owning.
Once again it was time for another career change this time it would be starting my own restaurant!
When you get to the point, when you know it’s time to make a change, whether it’s starting a business or changing careers finding courage is always the hardest since there are no guarantees.
I can help you build confidence and develop courage as you navigate your way to open your business!
I Have Owned Six Businesses
Four Food Industry – Josie’s Delicatessen, Catering and Café – Rochester NY, Elizabeth Ann Catering- Rochester NY, Corporate Catering-Clearwater Fl, and Alternative Gourmet-St. Petersburg Fl.
One Media and One Retail Music Store- The Music Corner-St Petersburg Fl and Pro Star Recording-St. Petersburg Fl
I have been in my own businesses for ¾ of my working life.
If not for being successful in the food industry and selling one to invest in other businesses I wouldn’t have been able to continue being in my own businesses today!
If you’re looking to start a restaurant, I hope my story helps you to commit to that idea.
Starting new or starting over is possible!
Dreaming of owning a restaurant and turning that dream into a reality is possible too!
But it all begins with making a CHANGE.
Let Me Show You How!
No matter where you are at this very time in your career, I want you to know anything is possible if you believe in yourself.
If you can make a commitment to doing, everything that’s necessary I know your dream of starting and running a restaurant can happen.
I know the mistakes most startup entrepreneurs can make, and you’ve come to the right place if you want to learn how to avoid failure in the industry.
The startup phase is the most important; it’s the birth of your dream come true!
My goal is to teach and show you effective strategies you can use right away to start and grow your restaurant.