S3 Episode 10 - Lizeth Morales
Welcome to Season Three of The Dr. B Show sponsored by One 11 Spa and Aesthetics. Get More Clicks Media and Transforming Your Way to Success online course powered by Borja Consulting Group, Dr. B here, and here is the season finale with Lizeth Morales, who is the, uh, president CEO of El Gordo restaurants here locally.
Jersey City and in the union. And I, I am sure other locations as well, should keep expanding and expanding. So with that being said, hopefully, enjoy this episode with this, which was done live with, um, my great friend, Lizeth Morales.
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All right. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Dr. B show. I'm your host, Dr. B. I'm here with the lovely Lizeth Morales, owner of El Gordo Restaurants. How are you? Thank you so much for visiting me on the wonderful, happy new year, new year.
Thank you so much. Uh, tell everyone about yourself, jump right into it. Sure. Uh, well thank you first for making me your first guest of the show. Thank you. That's um, okay, so hello everyone, I am Lizeth and I am the owner and operator of El Gordo restaurant, and we are a Peruvian restaurant, uh, serving our communities for 25 years now with locations in Patterson, PAE, Jersey City, and union township, which is where we are today.
Love it. Thank you so much. Tell us about the roots of a Gordo, which I know was established 25 years ago. Tell us about that. Sure. So I goo was founded by my mother Monica, uh, who was a former. Keeper and, um, someone who felt the need to, um, really build something that would leave a legacy for my sisters and me.
Uh, so we come from a line of cups. Uh, my grandmother was a head chef for a political family in Ima Petou for over 10 years. Uh, so cooking and, and homestyle recipes is something that's in ours. And, um, my mother always knew that she wanted to open a restaurant and have a space where families can come together and enjoy traditional homestyle dishes.
And, and that's really our, our brand is we are a place where you come with family and friends to enjoy. Traditional homestyle, Peruvian dishes in a coy Chi setting. So really when I think of, and the roots are really family, um, you know, it's my family that started this business and honestly, the families throughout the years that has helped us.
Keep the doors open through their love and support. Right. Thank you. Sounds great. I appreciate it. Um, so you also, you know, with your personal journey, right? So of course you came up from the business, right? Um, made it stop, right? And obviously, you graduated in, uh, a degree in, um, organizational psychology from, yes.
Tell me about that experience. How, how has that helped? You and you are who? Sure. So when I was in college, you know, like most people, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do, but I know that what I've always enjoyed is working with people. I've always enjoyed, uh, building relationships with people. And I came across in the short organizational psychology.
Were a professor of mine, uh, who actually had his own, uh, company and where, you know, he was a coach and mentor to other business and organizations. And, you know, I thought it was just so interesting. The idea of mixing business, which is also something that I enjoyed a lot, thanks to growing up with an entrepreneurial mom and as well, and psychology, which is, you know, people develop.
Um, and then in William Patterson, I, you know, I really credit my journey. William Patterson is where I established strong leadership roots. Um, you know, I was part of many different clubs and organizations. Um, mostly because I really wanted my college experience to really be meaningful in the sense that I wanted to have an.
Experience where I could get to know many different people. And the only way to do that is to just become involved, right? Like anything. Um, so really at William Patterson is where I became comfortable, you know, being in the front row. And that helped me towards my first career, which was as a sales and development manager at lengths to go.
Yeah. Tell me about that. Tell me about your experience as far as your role lines go. I know it has a very robust, uh, management training program. How, how did that help you as well? Yeah. Into the person you are today. So, um, I always told my mom that the day that I joined her and the family business would be the day that I could help her grow it from a local mom-and-pop place to a national chain of Peruvian eateries.
And I knew that to be able to do that, I first had to develop, strong skills on my own. And I was blessed enough to come up lacrosse blind, to vote who by the way, does have a great leadership and management program, um, which is actually something I advise a lot of young college graduates to look into.
There are so many different organizations that have solid management training programs that blind Togo was really focused on helping you develop personal skills. So the program was very tailored to who you were as an individual because you know, we're all different leaders, we're all different kinds of managers.
You know, all with our own strengths. Um, so it really helped tailor to dad. And, um, it was a company that I felt also resonated with my family's story. They were also a company that started, um, you know, the father started selling lines off the back of his truck and led to hundreds of stores within us and Canada.
So I felt that that made me be able to believe like, wow, okay. That if this family was able to create that maybe one day I can create this for my family. Um, and as well, the other thing that I really took from my years of working there, um, which is. Learning the importance of an open feedback environment, which is something that I strongly am an advocate for in my own teams and my own business, and that I strongly encourage other entrepreneurs to do as well.
You know, I am very one on one with my team and I always like to share with them like, um, you know, the attributes that I see that they're creating on the things that they need to work on. And as well, I like to give them a space where they can also give me feedback on how I can improve. What tools I can give them so that they can be effective at their jobs?
That's amazing. That's amazing to have a two-week street. Yeah. So feedback is so key. Yes.
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So tell us about the chamber, um, Spanish chamber of commerce. And how did you go about making that connection? Sure. So I came across the statewide Hispanic chamber of commerce. Uh, thanks to miss OS, who I met at a, uh, panel that we were both speakers on for St. Peter's college, uh, year women's in women's history month.
And. Said that I'm at. We, you know, he is his usual self, which he is, has that great ability at knowing how to connect different people and, sharing with you all the tools that he finds can really help you succeed and grow your business. And that really has been my experience in the past year. With the chambers really developing this, you know, that we call Familia this community of other entrepreneurs like myself, um, you know, who have struggled with the same things that I have and have, you know, Sur it and, um, and really, it, it, it gives me a safe space where I can really, you know, have a community that I know supports me and believes in me love it.
You're also a graduate of HTP, uh, 2021. So congratulations on that. Thank you. And how. Program help you personally, professionally, you know, I find that HTTP is such a thoughtfully curated business coaching program. I mean, there really isn't anything that I've ever been a part of that comes similar, um, to the opportunities and the vast knowledge.
Given me, um, you know, just to be able to have that one-on-one coaching experience with different business owners, different professionals that really take the time to, to understand the tools that I need, um, is key. And then most importantly is being in the program with other business owners like myself, you know, and us sharing.
It's really being vulnerable with each other because a lot of entrepreneurship can be a very lonely road. Right. And it's a very lonely road because it's almost like, you know, I always describe it to, you know, being a parent. We were just talking about that. Like, you don't wanna let other people know, like, I kind of feel like I'm not being a good parent at this.
Like, you know, and, and I think it's having that. Space where we can say, I struggle with this. Like, do you guys struggle with this too? And this is what I'm having a hard time with. So it's really been, been great in, in that, but most importantly, it's really empowered me to understand that the most important job that I have as an entrepreneur is that I am the CEO of my business and to be an effective CEO, I have to remove all these other hats that I was wearing, you know, and I think most entrepreneurs who come in they're wearing so many different hats and the most important hat is the CEO.
And to do that you have to create freedom within your business and to create the freedom you have to delegate. So, absolutely. I agree. You know, uh, Louis talks about the access to capital access to knowledge accessible to the market. Uh, it's so important, right? Um, it's key. I'd be surprised and it's a lonely road as an entrepreneur in the beginning, but it's especially the access to capital.
You know, I think a lot of times as entrepreneurs, we. Put all of our life savings into our businesses. I mean, I, I know that I did, and it's really scary because, you know, God forbid something goes wrong. You're you, you can get yourself in serious trouble. Um, but however, you know, there are so many different opportunities.
To gain, to gain capital, um, to have access to it. Yes, it is much harder for Latino business owners, but the opportunities are there. If you connect yourself with the right people, if you use the right resources and if you empower yourself to learn and, you know, I think that it's something that I push that I advise other young entrepreneurs and you.
Coming into the field of entrepreneurship, make sure you have enough capital because for your business to grow you're gun need capital. For me to run an effective restaurant, I need capital to invest in the best types of machinery and the best technology and in the best training for my team and myself too.
So, where do you see Gordo in five years? That's a great question. Where do I see Godo in five years? I would like for my brand to be a, um, well-recognized brand. My vision is that when people think of Peruvian food, they think of El Gordo. Um, I would like to see us at a place where we've already franchised our locations, uh, and we are throughout the tri-state area.
Um, that's mostly where I like to see it. And then my biggest goal is we, this year are actually launching our signature sauce, which is my mother's recipe. It's our homemade, uh, green sauce, those green sauces. Is for that to launch successfully on e-commerce and in five years, um, you know, you'd be able to purchase a bottle at whole foods or trader Joe's.
And for me, what that'll represent is that, you know, dreams are really possible that the American dream really is possible, you know, because we are a family that, that. Came from very humble beginnings. And, um,, the beauty of it all is that I now see myself at a place where I feel empowered enough to dream all that and believe that I can actually achieve it.
That's amazing. And that's, I think, um, you know, my biggest takeaway from my own growth as an entrepreneur. Amazing, amazing, amazing looking forward to looking forward, to looking forward very quick. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Really quick in 30 seconds. What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur starting off?
Does it, um, have the structure in place, have a, do your research as far as the industry, um, what do you think should be right? Um, I think it's, it's a few key things for me. The first thing would. Say it really, um, understand your brand really well, understand who you're marketing to understand what the vision of your brand is because it will always come back to that.
Um, you know, through, as, as your brand grows, you're gonna have people that are gonna question it. You're gonna come that maybe may not believe in it. Much. So you are always, you always have to be your biggest cheerleader. You're my number one fan. And in order for that to happen, you gotta know and understand your brand so well.
Uh, and then my second thing would be, is to get a coach, get a mentor, you know, there you'd be surprised how many people are out there that are willing to provide information for you and help you so that you can grow and feel empowered. Amazing. Thank you. Take where could people find. Information goo and the restaurant also, you can check us out @elgordoeatery.com.
That is our website. Our IG handle is El Gordo eatery as well. And then if you wanna know some information about me and my journey as a restaurateur, you can check me out at @missrestaurateur. Um, it. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me today. I appreciate it. Thank you. That's Dr. B Show. Thank you, everybody.
So make sure you follow her and follow me and thank you for listening too. Thank you so much.
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And that wraps up the episode, that wraps up the season of the Dr. B show with Lizeth Morales and hopefully, you enjoyed her amazing story as, uh, growing up in, in a household, in an entrepreneurship household. And now where she's taking the restaurant, the El Gordo Restaurant franchise. So with that being said, hopefully, enjoyed my season.
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Dr. B top guy out.