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From HR to Hospitality: My Journey of Passion and Entrepreneurship

Welcome to our blog! I am thrilled to take you on a captivating journey of how I, a seasoned HR professional turned passionate entrepreneur, ventured into the world of hospitality. Join me as I share my story of passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of dreams.

Embracing the Calling: My story began at a young age when I landed my first job as a busser at an Italian restaurant. Little did I know that this humble beginning would ignite a deep passion for the culinary arts. At 18, I had the incredible opportunity to work as a chef's assistant at a small bed and breakfast. This is where I met Chef Jessie, my now husband, best friend, and business partner. His unwavering passion for the culinary arts inspired me, but it was my time in the front of the house, learning about hospitality, that sparked my own calling.

Blending Expertise: As I pursued my career in HR, I realized the invaluable lessons it offered in building strong teams and nurturing positive work cultures. However, when we opened our first restaurant in 2010, I initially approached it with a more rigid mindset, mirroring the practices of big corporations. It wasn't until later that I recognized the need to blend my HR expertise with the essence of hospitality. I understood the importance of giving people room to fail, playing to their strengths, and fostering an environment where employees could flourish.

Building a Multi-Faceted Empire: You may wonder why we keep expanding within the small radius of downtown Pasco. Our journey has seen us build a culinary empire with various offerings. After our first restaurant, we ventured into the world of food trucks with the Ciao Wagon, initially intended for high-end dinners and catering. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to pivot and get creative with our offerings. We partnered with wineries and breweries, creating special menus and meal packs. This led to the opening a restaurant, Ciao Trattoria, and later, Pasco Burger Company, a walk-up window concept. The journey doesn't end there, as we eagerly anticipate the opening of Imbibe, an authentic Italian Cafeteria and Wine Bar opening soon in downtown Pasco.

Overcoming Challenges: Balancing a full-time HR role with managing our growing culinary empire has presented its fair share of challenges. Initially, I struggled with finding the time to effectively manage everything. However, I have learned to shift my mindset from a small business owner to an entrepreneurial one. I've embraced the power of delegation, trusting my team, and hiring a virtual assistant to handle certain tasks. This shift has allowed me to focus on the bigger picture and create a more harmonious balance.

Conclusion: My journey from HR to hospitality has been one of immense growth, driven by passion and a relentless pursuit of my dreams. I hope my detailed story has provided you with inspiration and a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs along the way. Join me as I continue to share my love for food, innovation, and the joy of creating exceptional culinary experiences. Stay tuned for more captivating content on our blog as we celebrate the art of hospitality and the power of entrepreneurship.

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