SPEAKER: CHINELO HOURON

SPEAKER "The new main street" building community + hustling to build a business in off the beaten path locations (June 3rd 2020)
Chi is the Owner + Operator of The Thirsty Maiden Cafe nestled in the heart of the Kanata South Business Park. I'm a wife, fiercely loyal friend and soon to be serial entrepreneur. I took a concept and did what many people would describe as the unthinkable. I opened up a brick and mortar cafe in the middle of "nowhere". I struggled with this decision over the course of a year but eventually took the plunge and stuck to my original business plan. My goal was to open up in a business park with the goal of targeting a specific demographic. The exact opposite happened. The social media and word of mouth took off like a storm and the people walking through my doors and filling my seats were individuals who normally worked from home, mothers on maternity leave looking to get out of the house, friends looking to catch up, families coming in to enjoy our weekend menu offerings, etc. 
I'm asked often what my 'why" is. I left the security of working in the private sector that came with all the bells and whistles for the unknown. The one thing I was sure of was that my need to 'connect' with people wasn't being met. I would jump from job to job in search of something I didn't know I was looking for. The concept of The Thirsty Maiden was born when I knew my personal happiness was at stake. My many years in customer service, food & beverage and sales had prepared me for this moment and there was no turning back. 
Chinelo Houron, Gem Conference 2020, Gem Conference Ottawa, Ottawa business conference, Ottawa conference
IG handle: @thethirstymaiden