How can we grow as entrepreneurs? What is the determining factor for growth? On this episode we find that out! Carlo was immersed in the family catering business from the age of 5; he saw his parents toil and work in a tough and grueling environment. Carlo helped with tending bar, waiting tables, washing dishes, and any required kitchen help. He even assembled entire weddings on his own. During this time, he became aware of the sociological aspects of the event industry. In conjunction with his father in the 1980’s, Carlo opened "Le Jardin de Toronto Banquet Hall" as a one-room banquet facility. A year later, Carlo purchased the business completely and opened a second room on the premises. Sales increased by 65% in one year.
In 1995, Carlo took over the catering operations at Hunters’ Glen Golf Club in Kleinburg. Sales at Hunters’ Glen increased by over 300% the first year and to over 450% in the second year with the addition of a tent facility and then a second tent facility.
In 1998, he opened the Private Box catering of the newly created Hershey Centre in Mississauga, as well as, managed the operations of the Icebreakers Sports Café at Iceland Hockey Arena..
In 2005, he developed 230 residential lots in Barrie, Ontario at the corner of Yonge Street and Mapleview Drive. The development has now increased to almost 2000 residential units with a GO Train Station next to the subdivision.
In 2007, came the renovation which doubled the original wing of Le Jardin Special Event Centre: sales increased by 30%. This is to be the façade of the new and upcoming Hotel, planned for 2013.
Carlo has also been developing a proprietary catering software system, called, CaterX, www.CaterX.ca
, to be marketed in the near future.
In 2009, Carlo purchased www.FindABanquetHall.com
, an Event Venue directory and revamped it. This was a dormant website which now appears on the first page of Google when searching for Banquet Halls, ahead of all its competitors, such as Yellow Pages, Menu Palace, Event Source, etc.
Carlo is the creative force behind Long Valley Productions: the parent company of Last Bride Standing, Toronto’s Bridal Show, and FindABanquetHall.com
. During 2009, Carlo created the TV Show and Contest, “Last Bride Standing” which became a hit over two seasons in Canada on Sun TV. It taped its fourth Season in HD, as well as 3D - the first Reality TV show in the history of the world to be filmed in 3D. The first two seasons are presently airing in the US on Wedding Central with distribution deals being negotiated with Britain, Australia, France and Dubai. Last Bride Standing is also the very first 3D reality show ever filmed. The 3D season released in Fall 2011.
In 2010, he created “Toronto’s Bridal Show”, which became the Bridal Show to attend. The live taping of Last Bride Standing was held at the show, and has now become the second largest show by attendees and vendors out of six shows in less than one year in Toronto. Carlo has since sold the show.
In 2012, he created “Yo Amo Tacos Bar ‘n Grill” in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and then in 2014 created the same restaurant concept in Toronto (Woodbridge).
Carlo is presently working on the final expansion of Le Jardin, with the addition of a new Marriott Hotel, Tribute Portfolio, called Hotel Vie, Conference & Spa, adjacent to the existing 80,000 sq. ft. Event Venue. The Hotel will boast 254 guest suites and 54 office suites. There will be 3 restaurants: CLJ Restaurant & Enoteca and Monet Courtyard, a 5 Star 200-seat restaurant and patio, , as well as Le Marche de Joe, a boulangerie and Café with an outdoor patio and La Terrasse” a Rooftop Pool/Lounge + Restaurant. There will also be an Outdoor Tented Courtyard for private events, Le Jardin Courtyard, an Indoor Pool & Fitness Centre, Le Salle de Gym, an 8,000 sq. ft. Spa, Giverny Spa, and a Private Members’ Wine Club, Le Club de Vin.