We had the good fortune of connecting with Emilio Dominguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emilio, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking calculated risks, some more calculated than others, has been crucial to building my own career as an entrepreneur. A lot of the people closest to me doubted my ability to stick to the plan, to keep my head down and put in the countless hours of unpaid work, and to have the necessary vision to execute something unique. I never doubted myself, though, and knew the risks I took would pay off.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your industry, can you tell us more?
My wife and I own The Modern Rose, an award-winning and very unique Café in Deerfield Beach, FL. We shop fresh every day, and basically are your coffee shop, your tea house, your escape, and your Café with fun, delicious, fresh, vibrant dishes. The restauranteur Michael Mina once said, “A restaurant is never the same as the day before. It is either better, or worse, but never the same.” That impacted me when I heard it so my mission is to get in there every day and find something to improve, whether it be an efficiency thing, a process, a new item to keep enticing guests, etc. I’m most proud and excited by A) the fact that so many people love us and keep becoming regulars, and B) that people approach us all of the time wanting to open their own Modern Rose as franchisees, since that is the direction we’re headed – it’s proof of concept for me. Also, I love how diverse our guests are. I have never seen a business that frequently and repeatedly attracts people from every race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age group, political affiliation, you name it. It’s the best! The Modern Rose is for everyone because we love everyone and are so happy to serve any smiling face walking through the door. Our journey with The Modern Rose has been very difficult, amplified by the pandemic. When we bought the business the founder was losing money every month and we took the chance on it because of it’s unique positioning and my having grown up in the business gave me confidence that I knew what needed to be fixed. We were almost ready to buy our first home when I decided to quit my job and focus on the business and it wasn’t enough money to live off for a while. It got to the point that at almost 30 years old, married with two kids, we had to move in with my mother to weather the storm. We’re back on our feet and thriving, but it’s been a roller coaster for sure. Being an entrepreneur is only for the toughest individuals, but it’s so rewarding.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We don’t get out much as we work 7 days a week and have two young children haha! When we do, though, we go to Le Sorelle in Delray Beach, Bourbon Steak and Ornos in Aventura, and Nuevo’s Cubano’s in Sunrise. Nuevos Cubanos is an outdoor (covered) only Cuban place that’s been around since the ‘70s if I’m not mistaken, and is still owned by the son now. They play live music and everything is colorful, it’s a really cool place.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout-out starts with my mother who worked tirelessly as a single mom to provide for me growing up. As I became a late teen/young adult my grandparents ensured when I faltered they were there to help build me up. Then most recently a gentleman who was a regular of mine when I was running a beverage program at a high-volume restaurant took a chance on me and gave me a personal loan to buy my business. In 18 months we’ve more than 11X’d the business, and everyone who’s ever helped me has their role in making that possible.
Juan Duran, Emilio Dominguez