“Marrying a chef was my main inspiration to work in the food industry. A desire to own my own business was another,” she continues. “My husband was really my mentor and inspiration. He taught me things about business in general, and of course, the food industry and how demanding it can be. A respectful dedication is necessary; listening to the customers, keeping up with food trends and attention to detail is a must.”
Franchino earned a Bachelor of Science in education and minored in business at Rutgers College in New Jersey. Her restaurant experience came as on-the-job training. “I learned a lot along the way,” she laughs, recalling her days working as a server in college and while teaching school. “I must say I’ve learned the most while actually being in business and running a restaurant.”
For women wishing to start their own businesses, Franchino suggests, “Start small if you can. There may always be opportunity for growth. Be sure to know the business you wish to start and have a passion for it, since it will take up many of your waking hours.
“Having said that, keep your mind on your goals and seek out help wherever you can get it to reach the success you hope for. Don’t let anyone keep you away from your dreams or let you believe that a woman couldn’t succeed in your chosen field.”
One of the largest personal obstacles Franchino encountered while dealing with her business and family was the result of her divorce. “I learned that in the end one must rely solely on one’s own ability to overcome, proceed and succeed. I am proof that a single mom in the business world can make it.”
“I am now remarried to a wonderful loving man who supports all my efforts and with whom I share life’s challenges.” Franchino’s family often works as staff as well. “It’s been a struggle to juggle family and business, but a firm foundation and a lot of love help us keep it all together.”
Franchino is uncertain about what the future will hold for her in the coming years, but says, “I have always felt blessed to be a small part of Marco Island, and I love our island home. Thank you to all the customers and friends who have enjoyed their time with us at Café de Marco. My staff and I will continue to earn your respect and patronage.”