Sandra Ferreira: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Today’s Notable Young Professional is Sandra Ferreira, who moved back to Montreal a year ago from New York City to join her father’s business. She’s the Director of Operations of “Groupe Ferreira,” which consists of four restaurants in Montreal: Ferreira Cafe, Taverne F, and two Cafe Vasco da Gama…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I work on building a more efficient administration structure for the restaurant group by finding new and more efficient ways to function. My goal is to “corporatize” our operations without loosing the intimate charm of a family-owned and run business.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I guess I could say I started 18 years ago; I was seven years old when Ferreira Cafe opened. I grew up in this restaurant on the weekends helping the staff, eating long dinners, and ending the night by sleeping under the tables. From age 15 to 20, I was a part-time hostess and I loved it! I then spent three years in college in Pennsylvania and another two years in NYC working for the Macy’s business development program, followed by a marketing position at a small tech start-up.

While in New York, I also helped my boyfriend, who had a restaurant in the city. This is what reconnected me with this industry. Long story short, after almost five years away I made the decision to return to Montreal to finally begin this journey!

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
To make people leave our restaurants happy and satisfied by their meal, the wines and the overall experience!

The most challenging part?
Managing people, as we all have different personalities and ways to deal with conflicts. However, the people aspect of my job can also be the most rewarding.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Doing the same thing, but with six years under my belt! I see the Ferreira Group bigger than it is today and I’ll be working on making it even bigger.

What does success look like to you?
I look up to many people, but I would have to give one of my best success stories to my father, Carlos Ferreira. In 1975 he arrived in Montreal without speaking English or French, nor did he have a high school education. He was an immigrant working 80 hours a week as a dishwasher. He fixed himself one dream: to show Montrealers what “his” Portugal looked like through food, wine and lifestyle. Forty years later, he owns four Portuguese restaurants, produces wine and olive oil, and shares his dream every day with his customers, friends and family.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Taking the jump about a year ago and joining my dad and family in this business. It is a life commitment that I feel lucky to be part of. Unlike other jobs, there is no turning back!

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Surrounding yourself with experts and people you trust – it can be your greatest asset.

What to you is notable?
People achieving great success with passion and humility

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone, the one and only!


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