Barry Jessurun, President of Green Valley Hospitality, was interviewed by Adam Torres on Mission Matters Luxury Podcast.
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Restaurant industry veteran Barry Jessurun talks about the release of his new book, The Drunkard’s Path, and its connection to his 40-year career in the hospitality business.
What mission matters to you?
Led by his aim to help young people, Jessurun has been in the hospitality industry for a long time now; although his mission has changed over time, his passion for restaurants has remained constant across his four-decade career.
“We are actually a young person development agency,” Jessurun says. Green Valley Hospitality hires young people and provides them with adequate space to grow.
“That’s the mission for people who come to work for us: grow and create valuable selves for their future, and that matters,” he explains. “Our main focus is to help them foster that possibility.”
How did you get started in the restaurant business?
To earn some money in his twenties and meet new people at the same time, Jessurun began working at a health club; it happened to have a restaurant, and he eventually found himself working in the bar there.
Later, his parents bought some property and opened a cafe where he spent a good deal of time getting it up and running. That experience, he says, intensified his interest in this field. Gradually, he helped to develop the establishment into a financial success, which laid the groundwork for the rest of his career.
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How did you decide on the perfect location for your business?
The plot originally bought by Jessurun’s parents was in a , rural small country town, he explains; while it was busy out of the gate, there was a greater need for something more in the area, and once he opened a second eatery nearby, buzz for both started growing. Just 70 miles from Boston, their locations in Northeastern Connecticut were perfect spots for people heading to or from a ski trip, a visit to the shore or en route to New York and looking to grab a bite on the way.
As the saying goes, “Location, Location, Location” played a major role in the restaurants’ ultimate success. Today, Green Valley Hospitality encompasses four eateries in Northeast Connecticut: Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, Dog Lane Cafe in Storrs, 85 Main in Putnam, and Fenton River Grill in Mansfield.
Tell us about your new book, The Drunkard’s Path.
Jessurun’s inspiration for his book was sparked by reading a career advice book that he thought could be improved upon; from there, he decided to write his own, and that’s how The Drunkard’s Path came into being.
“My audience encouraged me towards the path of my book,” Jessurun says, noting that his book is ideal for today’s younger generation, many of whom may not have a good idea about how to build their future selves. For them, he says, it can be used as a guide to help them shape their career.