Friday, February 21, 2020
My parents purchased Tiffany’s Bakery in Seven Corners in 1980. It was here that I first started working in the food service industry. At 11 years old, I would help my father with all the daily tasks of running a full service bakery. When I was 15, my parents purchased the Daily Croissant in Tysons Corner Center. I was attending Marshall High School at the time, but after class, would head to my parents store to help out in the kitchen and at the cash register. The success of Daily Croissant enabled my family to purchase Saint Germain Cafe in the Tysons Galleria in 1988. At Saint Germain Café, I found myself performing multiple tasks — cooking, cleaning, waiting tables and managing. I learned a great deal from just the everyday experience of being around the family business. I learned about customer service, staying organized, running a clean restaurant, and maintaining impeccable business ethics. My parents led by example and demonstrated the right way to treat customers and the right way to run a business. I continued to work with my parents until I was 26. At this time, I decided to start my own company – Saint Germain Catering. My family business roots were hugely helpful to me in getting my business off the ground. I still think back on those early days and I feel immense gratitude for my family’s entrepreneurial roots. They taught me from an early age how to do business the right way – not just to make the most money possible, but to make the biggest possible difference for customers and the community. I hope that we all can remember our roots, no matter how humble, and remember that every business success story is about the journey and not just the destination.