Co-owner of The Bertossi Group (The Bicycle Thief, il Mercato, La Frasca Cibi + Vini, Ristorante a Mano)
Stephanie Bertossi says it was a fluke that she ended up in the food industry. "I moved to Calgary and I had to get a job," she laughs. "And I just never looked back." Since then, she's seen her way through all angles of the restaurant business—shortly after meeting her husband, chef Maurizio Bertossi, in 1981, they opened La Perla, the first in a long line of Italian-inspired dining destinations built from the ground up by the Bertossi Group. Though she grew up cooking "everything in Fannie Farmer", this woman was made to build and run restaurants. "Me, I like to drive," says the detail-oriented Bertossi, who says she and her husband never stop working, whether they're plotting their next move or training their staff. "We're old-school people," she says. "We believe you have to be in your business, and that's what makes your business a success." And that's probably why this month, Bertossi Group celebrates 30 years of feeding Halifax.