Gisella describes herself as a foodie. “I’ve been in the food industry most of my working career and grew up with parents in the hotel and restaurant industry too. I like nothing more than discussing food, restaurants and food news!”
She and her husband moved to Portland from London four years ago. They run the restaurant together while also raising two young children
She looks up to her dad for his calm and approach to building business. Gisella says she has learned a lot over the years. She says “I worked for my parents family business in London, three cafes with outside catering, for several years and honed my management style while working there.”
She also says finding the balance and confidence to ride out busier and slower weeks has also taken time to develop. “I tended to stress when there were changes in staff or quieter weeks and have learned this year to see the business in a longer term way versus day to day.”
She and her husband also have the added challenge of running a business together. “Dividing up who does what in a husband wife partnership is something we sometimes still struggle with. but we are getting much better at trusting the other person to get their job done with constantly checking in!"
As far as Bergerac goes, Gisella says she would have been more detailed in the sales process of buying a restaurant space to head off unexpected expenses. She reminds other business others to believe in your product or service. “We were influenced by what locals told us about price point for our area and didn't serve the menu we wanted to in the beginning for fear it was too expensive. But in reality, once we started offering a menu that we love and are proud to talk about and design, it turns out our customers do too,” she says.
She also loves the flexibility and freedom to be in charge of her own future. “We are building a business we are proud of and learning new things each day. I am in charge of areas of the business that keep it running including the books, the website, the marketing and the specials events,” she explains.
Gisella says she particularly loves planning the various events including Alliance Francais dinner, a Valentine’s Day menu, Mother’s and Father’s Day brunches, Bastille Day, a Wine dinner, a Mushroom dinner. and three more events are in the works for the end of the year.
In addition to being a lovely place to enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner, Bergerac is also available to rent for office and private parties. A MOB Alliance paint party was even held at Bergerac this year! “We have had events such as graduation parties and wedding rehearsal dinners,” she says.
Gisella hopes to work with more wedding planners in 2018 to offer the restaurant for wedding rehearsals and other events.
MOB Alliance members receive 10% off at Bergerac. excluding drinks and gratuity, for brunch, lunch or dinner.
You can find Bergerac online at: