Carlo Parentela is an entrepreneur and executive in the hospitality industry. A graduate of University of Guelph’s Humber College of Applied Arts & Technology, Carlo received his Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) focused in Civil Engineering Technology.
He began his career in the insurance industry, working for London Life Insurance as a Sales Representative for two years. In the 1980s, alongside his father, Carlo Parentela heeded his growing passion for business and opened “Le Jardin Event Venue” as a one-room banquet facility. One year later, Carlo purchased Le Jardin and opened a second room on the premises. He grew it from an 8,000-square-foot facility to a 74,000-square-foot facility. Today, the venue is known as Chateau Le Jardin Conference & Event Venue and is a popular location for weddings and corporate events.
Outside of his professional responsibilities, Carlo Parentela enjoys travelling, fine dining and helping out others.
Where did the idea for Chateau Le Jardin Event Venue come from?
I grew up in the hospitality business. As a child, my parents were in the banquet and catering industry in the 60s and 70s, and I learned a lot from them. As I got older, I helped with tending the bar, waiting tables, washing dishes, and any required kitchen help. I even assembled entire weddings on my own. During this time, I became aware of the sociological aspects of the event industry. In the 80’s, along with my father, I opened “Le Jardin Event Venue” as a one-room banquet facility. A year later, I purchased the business completely and opened a second room on the premises.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
First thing in the morning I wake up and respond to all of my emails. Then, I start writing down all of my business ideas and make a To-do list. I find that keeping organized helps me accomplish all of my goals that I have set for the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I make sure to relay my ideas to the people around me. Then, I listen to them for their feedback and suggestions on how to make that idea even better. Brainstorming with my team is a necessary process and I always get ideas from it. This is how the business slowly comes to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Artificial Intelligence, for sure. It makes life so much easier, yet scary at the same time.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Persistence! It may be the number one key trait required to become a successful business owner. Make the plan, work the plan and never give up. In reality, you might be chasing an idea for a business for months, even years. During these times, you must never give up.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Go slowly, don’t put yourself in debt, things will come without jumping in too fast. Never get too ahead of yourself. Breathe. It all goes back to persistence.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That you never die.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Exercise and eat healthy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is so important because, without your health, you can’t work properly and it’s harder to function. Also, don’t let others push you around. Stand your ground and listen to your gut.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Keep your promises, no matter the cost. Once you make a promise do not break it. If you are true to your word, it builds trust from the people around you.
That and…keep on keeping on.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I recall the time that I partnered with a talent and we put on a very expensive concert series. Ultimately, we lost money on the deal, but I overcame it by using the branding for my next business. There’s always a silver lining to failure. You just have to find it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’d love to give ONE business idea, but my ideas won’t work for everyone. I think everyone should follow their own passion, whatever that may be.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I get so much joy out of helping others so it was probably spent on helping out a single mother or a child.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The catering software that I created, CaterX. Since we have extensive experience in the banquet, events and facility industry, we know exactly what it takes to ensure a business runs smoothly and profitably. CaterX can help with anything from event creation and management to commission allocation and menu creation.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Think and Grow Rich, a book by Napoleon Hill. Make sure you read it at least twice.
What is your favorite quote?
“Mankind is my business.”
- Listen to others but make your own decisions
- Always follow your gut, listen quietly
- Be honest and keep your promises
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.