Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lawrence Deneau of Paradiso Hospitality Group- Hermitage, Julep, Unchained, Root Down Scullery, located in Halifax, NS, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a chef and restaurateur, a true, content servant of the fantastical masses. I live to feed souls, stir inner spirits and provide an escape to those in need of a break from their lives. Our restaurants are built not only to express my culinary journey so far but to impress and celebrate our city, province, and what the East Coast has to offer on all fronts. Our guests' needs and dreams, a compass for our ships captains and managers, steer us towards ever greater destinations in food and drink. Our customers come to us to be cared for consciously and subconsciously, and we will always take that very seriously and be ecstatic to have the ability and chance to do so.
Tell us about yourself
I started where most people do in this industry, lost. I came from a very modest background and could selfishly become more than just myself and what I considered a shitty life. An escape to a place where you could dream boldly and walk other beings through your dreamscapes. I found my strengths and weaknesses in the restaurant industry's everyday challenges. My world and mind were opened by the freedom, and intoxicating level of pride one could achieve by only listening and constantly striving for improvement. It was always my dream to have the opportunity to create these experiences for other cooks, chefs, bartenders, servers, and service professionals in my own establishments. I am constantly motivated by my staff, my business partner, other chefs, and our guests. I am a true believer that this industry is the true 'fountain of youth' where one can flourish forever until death at a high level through kindness, caring, hard work, and good training. The reward and daily motivation is the quest for the perfect service.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being a respected business owner while maintaining my high level of expectations as a chef.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Personally, the wolves are always chasing me. The hardest thing is staying two steps ahead of the proverbial wolves. The forest is filled with wolves, lol. Recently the pandemic has been our biggest stress and challenge. Being a multi-restaurant owner really puts pressure on personal relationships as well, which can trickle into all sorts of stress.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Choose your partners and support well. Take time to determine your true goals and what will really make you happy, and know when to take a break. Focus on making your staff happy, and your life will be easier in all ways. Listen, read and repeat forever, lol.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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