This is the latest entry in a series called Who Owns That? We ask readers on our LinkedIn group to identify their favourite small businesses from across Canada, and we track down the owners so they can tell us their stories.
Introducing Angela Checchia, the proprietor of Cascata Bistro. The Carlisle-Ont. based restaurant specializes in rustic Italian fare.
Let's start with the basics. Can you briefly describe your business, including when it was founded, what it does, and where you operate?
Cascata is a small Italian inspired little bistro in the village of Carlisle. Dedicated to fresh, local ingredients, we offer traditional flavours of authentic cuisine with a twist. We believe in farm to table, and are proud to subscribe to the 100 mile market supply philosophy where our menu allows. Our market menu offers variety on a daily basis to ensure only quality fresh ingredients are used.
We love to design a chef-inspired menu every day and events like our wine – and beer-makers dinners, live music and Sunday group cycling keep us active and engaged with our guests.
What inspired you to be an entrepreneur and to branch out on your own with this idea?
I'm a mother of two, and as I triathlete, I love this area. I'm also an active member of the community, participating in many local events and fundraisers, which is why I thought Carlisle would be a perfect spot for a special kind of place.
While sitting at the corner store one day, my three-year-old son and I were watching the cars drive through the village. He commented that many cars were passing by. At that moment, a beautiful century-old home across the street was for sale and my entrepreneurial spirit kicked in.
One thing led to another and here we are – a thriving little gem in the heart of Carlisle just minutes from as many as five cities.
Who are your typical customers, and how do they find you?
Our guests cover a wide range of demographics. At Cascata, there's something for anyone who likes fresh food in a relaxed atmosphere. Many of our friends enjoy our monthly, weekly and annual events. As Cascata grows, people hear about us in many different ways: Classic word-of-mouth, networking, social media, and being present in the community seem to help this little place get more exposure every day.
What's your role in the business? Do you have any employees?
I'm the sole owner of this incorporated business. With a strong partner in life, my husband Chad Smith, I'm able to balance the needs of life and work. Like most small business owners, I wear many hats. I couldn't do it without the support of my great team, which includes a head chef, sous chef, servers and back-of-the-house staff who all play crucial roles in Cascata's success. A business like this cannot thrive without the right people.
You've been identified by one of our readers as a standout business. What do you consider the key element of your success?
There are many things put together that have helped Cascata become a thriving business. One of these things is being flexible, but also staying true to who we are.
Creating a product that's real and true shines through with hard work, determination and patience. With more to learn every day, we strive to grow like branches on tree...in many directions.