Just Go For It: Owning Your Own Business
Tiffany Thompson, Sault Youth Association for local2 sault ste. marie
April 16th, 2012 at 10:52am
This month, the 27-year-old Sault Ste. Marie woman passed the one-year mark of owning Bossy’s Pub & Grub, a local bar. While initially aspiring to be a police officer, she tore a tendon in her leg before realizing that goal. An opportunity arose for her to co-own Bossy’s (she had been a server there for 6 years) and she seized it. She hasn’t looked back since.
The original owner of Bossy’s (formerly Smackdaddy’s) wanted someone within the business to take over. “He wanted someone who cared and knew the business and knew the customers, so he actually offered it to me. He offered to help us out and he wanted one of the waitresses to take over.”
She introduced some changes, including re-branding the look and feel of the bar. “This place was kind of a man zone before we took over, which is cool, it was very sports bar & blue collar which it still sort of is. And we still appreciate our construction worker, collar customers, but we’ve cleaned it up, brightened it up a little and made it more appealing to the female customers”.
This included introducing the new logo, a Rosie-the-Riveter type pin-up girl flexing her muscles. Caputo is very pro-empowerment: “She still appeals to the blue collar guy, she’s got her union pin and her whole working class look about her, but still appeals to women.” She has also introduced numerous healthy options to the menu to provide an alternative from the typical bar food.
Being a young business owner has its challenges. Learning to manage her time effectively was extremely important. “I wish there was 25 hours in a day. There is always something to be done and when we first opened, I tried to do everything. And you just run yourself ragged.” Now she makes sure to delegate and budget her time so she can squeeze in her regular gym workouts and days off (a fitness buff, Caputo has recently achieved her goal of losing 50 lbs in time for a tropical vacation).
She also faces the misconception that young people aren’t old enough to operate a business. “A lot of times people will come in and say; “Oh who took this place over?” I’d say “That’s me”, and I get “Well you’re not old enough to do that, you don’t have enough experience… so its been kind of a road where I’ve been out to prove something.”
She feels that the rewards of being a small business owner far outweigh the downsides. “It gives you a sense of pride, I think that’s the best part of all. Where I can look at it and be like, ‘well it may not be much but its mine’. Its nice to be able to show the younger generation, hey you guys can do it too.”
Her advice to the younger generation of entrepreneurs? Just go for it. You never know if you can succeed unless you try, and although you can’t please everyone all the time, you try to give your loyal customers what they want. She is extremely community minded and Bossy’s has sponsored local ball teams, kid’s hockey teams, Lung Association fundraisers and most recently a car at the Laird racetrack. All menu items are prepared from scratch daily, using only the highest quality ingredients.
“I think if you go in and do an honest day’s work, you’re honest with the people around you and you’re good to your customers- you’ll be able to do a lot of good things.”
Bossy’s Pub & Grub is located at 440 Pim St. and is open daily from 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Contact them at 705.256.1551