If you’re passionate about what you do the tasks that seem impossible – those mountains you need to climb – all of a sudden, they seem possible.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrew Paradis made a gutsy move. Having spent his career in the hospitality industry, he decided to back himself and start his own business.
As a trained Sommelier, he knew the wine industry inside-out, turning that knowledge into Paradis Wines and Spirits, a distribution agency based here in beautiful BC. In the year since, amid a rapidly shifting landscape in the hospitality industry, Andrew has emerged with a growing business and plenty of learnings to share.
“In the last year, I’ve had challenges where I’ve learned more in a few months than I would have in two years of going to school by battling them head on, adjusting and learning on the spot.” Andrew said.
Taking the First Steps
In a move that will resonate with all business owners, Andrew found himself with ambitions of one day occupying the managerial chair and began taking the steps necessary to make it happen.
“I’ve been interested in the wine industry for my whole career. Every time I left the industry, I’d get sucked back in eventually. Like many other people, I’d chase jobs for income, or to try new things, but my heart was always in hospitality and it’s where I’ve always felt like I’ve belonged.”
“I suppose the origins of the business can be found when I was in Toronto and I was studying to become a Sommelier. I got a job working as a wine agent and I just realized this is the job I’m meant for; talking about interesting wines, working with restaurants, hosting wine events, helping out customers and discovering world class wines from around the world.”
“At some point, I realized the only job I wanted was my bosses’ job, who owned the agency. I committed everything I possibly could to learning and getting to the stage where I was ready to begin. I guess my only regret is that I wish I had started earlier. It took a pandemic for me to actually sit down and get going seriously.”