Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Robert Granicolo, co-owner of Cry Baby Gallery, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Cry Baby Gallery is an art gallery & cocktail bar hybrid business located in the Dundas West area in Toronto. Our clientele are people thirsty for unique experiences who are interested in culture and nightlife. The cocktail menu changes a few times a year, and we love hosting art opening parties. We've recently delved into the world of displaying NFT's, which has created a broad new clientele for us, and we hope to open a few permanent satellite galleries programmed by our fierce curator Mony.
Tell us about yourself
I was bartending throughout my twenties, going through school like many. When the time came to get that office job, the world of bartending was radically changing, and there were many new career paths for those willing to commit. I also was not a fan of the office culture and decided to make the leap to find a way to really learn the bar/restaurant business. After meeting my current business partner through a job at a high-end tavern, we decided to go into business together a few years later. The concept of an art gallery cocktail bar hadn't been done in Toronto, which is home to countless amazing bars and restaurants. Keeping money in our employee's bank accounts is a big motivator for me since they depend on the business to stay busy in order to fulfill the needs in their lives. Figuring out ways to keep the company busy through art programming, brand activations, and having a heavy social media presence keeps us in the conversation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Seeing strangers become regulars. Also, self-proclaiming the title as "Home of the spicy marg" - We created a zany T-shirt and everything.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Managing relationships outside of the business and tuning out of being in constant work mode. It never ends.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't do it alone - Make sure you can trust your partners.
- Be willing to commit. Really know that it's something you want to do. Don't half-ass it.
- Leverage your network, everyone that likes you wants to see you succeed.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Be friends with the competition, grow together.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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