LOCAL HEROES: Pamela Bardhi
Pamela Bardhi is a Stonehill College alum who studied Entrepreneurship & Communications. She is currently involved with three businesses. Pamela is the President & CEO of Ria Café, a modern European Café & Gelateria, open in late summer 2013 in Boston. She is both Partner and General Manager of Anthem Hospitality, a subsidiary company of the Anthem Group. She is the Operations Director at Café Esplanade at the Hatchshell in Boston. Last but not least, she handles operations and social media marketing at her parent’s restaurant, West Napoli, in West Roxbury, MA. Pamela is very determined to prove that our generation can and will make a difference in the world, starting with our Boston community.
Who has been your most influential mentor?
Throughout my journey, I have met some of the most inspiring individuals who have left a footprint on my life. However, the most influential mentors in my life are an incredible duo, my parents. My parents have shown me the definition of determination, resilience, selflessness and unconditional love. My Dad used to work 15-18 hours a day when we first came to America in order to support our family. They both haven’t stopped hustling since. They have consistently motivated me to be the best at anything I encounter in life. They have been my strongest support system but most of all, my parents are the backbone in helping me achieve my Entrepreneurial dreams. Without them, I would not be where I am today.
How did you get where you are today?
My parents came to this country when I was 5 years old with nothing. We came from Rome, Italy and spoke zero English. I was challenged with learning English as my third language in first grade when I came to America. I went to Holy Name Parish School in West Roxbury for middle school, Trinity Catholic High School in Newton for high school and went to Stonehill College in Easton on a four year scholarship. It was my enriching experiences and opportunities that were provided to me through my education that has shaped me as an individual. All of the teams I played on, all my service trips, organizations that I was a part of and brilliant individuals I encountered have shaped who I am. My parent’s restaurant has also played a huge role in my life. I started working with my parents when I was 11. By the time I was 13, I was the lead volunteer organizer of the West Roxbury Women’s Business League and head cashier at my parent’s store. I was very much challenged and exposed to the business world at a very young age and it has absolutely attributed to my current success as a young female Entrepreneur. I believe that God has also played a huge role in my life and has guided me along the way through His many blessings.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In about five years, I see myself owning at least five businesses. I see myself becoming a proactive member in giving back to the Boston community as well as my educational institutions that have played large roles in offering me windows of opportunity and enriching experiences.
What about this city inspires you?
Boston is my home. I have traveled to multiple cities in the world and in the United States and there is absolutely no city that compares to Boston. Boston has an amazing energy and spirit that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. There is so many unique individuals, cultures and places in Boston that shape our city’s character. My favorite quote about Boston is from President Obama, “Boston is a resilient town, and so are its people.” No phrase could better describe my love for Boston.
Finish these sentences:
Boston should be… a place where no violence exists and everyone has a place to call home.
Boston could be … a place where anyone can fulfill their dreams.
Boston wants to be … the best city in the world.
Boston needs … believers and motivators that will inspire people to chase their dreams to increase the quality of life and to start making a difference in our local Boston community.