We’d like to introduce you to Laura Padrino.
We’re so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Padrino’s is a third-generation, family-owned collection of Cuban restaurants. We were founded in 1976 by my grandparents, who then handed over the business to my dad and for the last decade, my brothers and I have been at the helm. After studying hospitality at Florida International University I worked for a few years with a luxury Hilton property in Brickell. By year three, I realized that if I was going to work this hard, it needs to be for a company with my name and not someone else’s. I wanted to incorporate myself into the family business but I also wanted to earn my way by creating something that added value and at the same time felt like it was mine and not merely me working for my dad’s restaurant. The idea in achieving that was to expand our catering efforts and make it its own separate identity that can generate revenue and be known independently of the established locations. After five years of developing a menu, systems, and processes, Padrino’s catering grew enough to require a catering manager to work alongside me, which also allowed me to broaden my focus to other areas. In 2017, the third generation opened our first location in Fort Lauderdale. I designed the dining room from top to bottom from plateware to wallpaper and everything in between. Since then we’ve opened and remodeled three additional locations and I’ve designed each one. It’s been quite the ride and I’ve truly enjoyed all of it.