Nadège Nourian is the chef and owner of Nadège Patisserie in Toronto, Canada. Since the opening of her eponymous shops in 2009, Nadège has delighted Torontonians with modern dessert creations, and has been showered with numerous accolades from critics, the press, and the blogosphere. Born in Lyon, France, Nadège is a fourth generation pastry chef. Prior to opening her patisseries in Toronto, she worked alongside MOF’s in patisseries in France and in world renowned and Michelin-starred restaurants.
My first job ever was… working at a market in Lyon selling clothes with my uncle. I was 10 years old, I loved helping people find what they were looking for and the feeling of independence I got with the money I earned.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… it has been in me since the beginning, I come from a family of entrepreneurs so maybe it is in our genetics?
My proudest accomplishment is… to be where I am today, a female chef and entrepreneur.
My boldest move to date was… opening the Nadège Yorkdale location. I had to learn to manage a retail-store in a mall and the construction of the store was a huge undertaking. It took a lot of focus and attention to detail, it was a beautiful space and we wanted it to be perfect. When we opened, we had lineups outside the store for months!
I surprise people when I tell them… I don’t have a financial partner. We built this business on our own and it is fully ours.
My best advice to people starting a business is… work hard and stop the minute you don’t love what you do anymore.
My best advice from a mentor was… the sky’s the limit.
I would tell my 20-year old self… Life goes by faster than you think so live it to the fullest!
My biggest setback was… Moving our kitchen from our Queen West to our commissary in Etobicoke was a big challenge. We had to hire more people, train them and show them they were part of the team. I had less contact with our customers. It was an adjustment for me.
I overcame it by… positive thinking. I know anything is possible if you put your mind to it. So every day we looked at what needed to be done for the next day to be better.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… we welcome a lot of celebrities in our stores and we don’t post about it to respect their privacy.
I stay inspired by… the people around me, both at work and home. I get my energy from people I work with, the customers that visit our stores regularly and that have become part of my family.
The future excites me because… it is full of surprises. You have ideas that you plan for and execute, like the opening of the ice cream shop next to our Queen store location, but then other opportunities, that you didn’t envision, come your way. You have to embrace the possibilities.
My next step is… to become an international brand.