For Edmundo Farrera, the owner of La Fuente Wine & Mezcal in Auckland, love and passion for wine has led him down an incredible road to success, and he owes it all to his unshakable loyalty to his passion.
“Follow your passion, if you like cocktails, or champagne or whatever hospitality has to offer, focus on that and grow from there, so you can have a career, not a job.”
La Fuente, which opened last month, offers a unique mix of wines (including natural, traditional and exceptional vintages) alongside artisan mezcal – a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave (or maguey) plant – and delicious, Mexican-inspired dishes.
Growing up in a small town in Veracruz Mexico, Farrera always had big dreams. “I am fascinated by food, beverage and people,” Farrera explained. So, he took this fascination and turned it into a business. But the road to success was not without trails; he spent many years training and gaining as much expertise from industry professionals all around the world. “My London years were just a rollercoaster, working at some of the hottest venues in the industry at the time,” he said. Tim Atkins and Nuno Mendez were among Ferrera’s most influential mentors and helped mould him into the businessman he is today. Ferrera’s influences come from around the globe. From Spain to Barcelona, from Paris to his hometown in Mexico, Ferrera finds inspiration in food and wine all over the world.
A love for the industry is important but Ferrera has learnt that to have a successful business, you must place the needs of your clientele at the top of your list. “I see and hear people before I open my mouth. You can read what a guest needs just by their body language.” Respect for his customers and for the perseverance it takes to run a business are as fundamental to success as passion.
“I hope to create a point of difference with service standards. Impeccable service and a permanent training program are my not so secret powers. Years of hard work and good relationships in the industry is a big part of having a good response from the wine and mezcal lovers.”
For Ferrera, the team he surrounds himself with is fundamental to his company’s prosperity. “I would like to create a happy, super professional team that is passionate about what they do so that we can feed this big city a little happiness. Professionally, I dream of creating an institution.” Finding a strong team can be challenging, “I look for passion, attitude, generosity and personality,” explains Ferrera, as these characteristics are, to him, what creates the most efficient and spirited organisation. “I give them responsibilities they would love to take on. I value their opinions and put into practice what everyone wants to contribute, as long as that is what is best.”
Finally, Ferrera shares his greatest advice to potential restraint entrepreneurs; “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”