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Meet Francine Brûlé, Founder, Les enfants terribles brasserie, and 2018 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards RBC Momentum Award Finalist

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Francine Brûlé

Founder, Les enfants terribles brasserie

Finalist, RBC Momentum Award, EAST

 

Brasserie Les Enfants Terribles is a family-run restaurant group guided by a “just like home’’ concept, with a welcoming atmosphere and a menu featuring local products and unique spins on more traditional dishes. Francine Brûlé opened her first location at 53 years old — after 35 years in fashion, without knowing anything about the restaurant industry — and over the last decade has grown the brand to include five locations serving more than 13,000 clients each week, creating more than 500 jobs in Quebec. What’s next? Five more locations over the next five years.

 

My first job ever was… I started working at the age of 14 in a clothing factory in Montreal, in the pressing department.

 

I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I wanted to follow my own vision, work at my own pace.

 

My proudest accomplishment is… Without any doubt, my family. I have three beautiful, talented and successful sons that inspire me every day. 

 

My boldest move to date was… opening a restaurant at 53 years old, after 35 years in fashion, without knowing anything about this industry.

 

I surprise people when I tell them… the truth.

 

My best advice to people starting their business is… Follow your heart, live your passion. Stay focused on your main goal, work hard and don’t let yourself be distracted by the many roadblocks that will come your way.

 

My best advice from a mentor was… Give my 150% in everything I undertake.

 

If I could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, it would be… Coco Chanel.

 

“I learn something new every day and that’s what keeps me going.”

 

I would tell my 20-year old self… Have fun, enjoy every second of it and do everything with your heart. We say it often, but it’s true. Life is short, time flies, we must enjoy every moment.

 

My biggest setback was… having three kids in five years while running my own business and working more than 60 hours a week.

 

I overcame it by… working smarter. I knew I had to do more in less time, so I had no choice but to organize myself and find ways to be more efficient. And I made sure I had employees I could rely on at any time.

 

The last book I read was… Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and I am just starting the second part, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

 

I stay inspired by… the successful accomplishment of intelligent, creative and passionate pioneers that surround me.

 

The future excites me because… it’s a surprise every day. I learn something new every day and that’s what keeps me going.

 

My next step is… to open five new restaurants in five years and grow my catering business.