It's a dream come true in a coffee mug: hot mocha latte (or pumpkin spice, if you prefer).
At the age of 23, Alex Puglisi has fulfilled her dream. She is now the successful owner of Café La Reine in Manchester, N.H.
Alex entered Saint Anselm as a business major but wasn't truly inspired to follow down the path of entrepreneurship until she took the class "Paris and New York in the 1920's and 1930's," an exploration of a bygone era of dynamic conversation in cafés and bistros.
While an undergraduate, Alex got her first real look at the reality of business as an intern at Market Reach. There she got a good look at the specifics of marketing and learned the importance of brand. Since graduating from Saint Anselm in 2011, Alex has applied her teachings and skills in business to open her own coffee house in downtown Manchester, N.H.
Marketing and Branding and Making it Work
As for marketing her own business, Alex primarily uses social media to get the word out on Café La Reine. Along with this inexpensive tool she also has some alumni connections in the Manchester area who suggest her café to their coworkers via word of mouth and, like any good business person, the chosen location allows for plenty of foot traffic.
Beyond just marketing, being your own boss requires lots of work. Alex manages her staff, controls the payroll, and sorts out scheduling. She also keeps the shop and its materials organized and stocked, which means ordering products, keeping inventory and tracking the café's earnings to keep her business afloat.
Support and Success
She relates the importance of her peer's and professor's support at Saint Anselm to her success in running Café La Reine.
"People would doubt me because I was young, but the business program showed me that I could do whatever I want because I have the knowledge and the skill." says Alex.
And when she needed guidance her Saint Anselm professors including Professor John Romps provided valuable advice.
"Since there are professors who care about how well you're doing, they make it a point to care and meet you"
"I can't count the number of times that I went to professor Romps for advice. I even went when I needed help with another class"
She wants other students to follow their dreams of being future business owners saying, "Go for it! Business can seem like a lot of information but you have to be willing to apply it to real life and be creative with what you learn. I loved being a business major because I could see how I could apply what I learned everyday."