Skye Cafe & Bistro: Milton Rebello
AN ENTREPRENEUR'S JOURNEY
The Corner Office CFO Blog | Regina SK
Welcome to The Corner Office CFO’s blog. The Corner Office is a Contract CFO company based in Regina SK. We work with businesses of all types and sizes, and love getting to work alongside incredible entrepreneurs in all stages of ownership. This blog aims to highlight some of those fantastic people and businesses, so we hope you enjoy getting to know them!
Milton Rebello was born in India. He has worked in over 10 countries, at some of the most prestigious kitchens in the world and honing his skills all that time. In 2012 he became a “Canadian Certified Chef de Cuisine” — the highest designation for a chef in Canada. Milton says, “Initially cooking was just a way to earn some money and build a life, but eventually I just fell in love with it. And my dad always said, ‘find a job you love, and you never have to work a day in your life’.”
How did you decide to become a business owner?
“It was always a dream for Louise and I to have our own restaurant. We would travel, cook, eat different foods and would say why don't we have our own restaurant?”
And in 2016 they opened Skye Cafe and Bistro, named after their daughter Skye. “So, it started as a dream, then became an expensive hobby, and now everything is right. Over the last 3 years we have learned a lot about what works and how to run our business and maintain our lifestyle so we can still enjoy our family life and support our children.”
Milton and Louise, like many entrepreneurs, are passion driven. Being restaurant owners was the dream but figuring out how to make money at it was almost an afterthought “It's very easy to work for someone else; just doing the work and getting a salary. But I always thought ‘If I can work so hard for other people, I wonder what I would do for myself.’" Once this dream became a reality everyone around them sure saw their passion prove profitable.
Milton rightly says that “I believe if you do what you're proud of, people will come. They will give you at least one chance for you to prove yourself. And we don't disappoint.”
So, what has changed for you since becoming an entrepreneur?
“Now I see opportunity in everything I do. But the last 3 years of Running Skye have made me a little smarter and a little more organized.”
“The Corner Office helped us right from the beginning. When we were getting used to all the new responsibilities that owners have such as payroll, employee benefits and vacation pay, invoicing, payables and receivables, taxes, etc. I was aware of what I needed, but was not very confident in doing it all myself, so that's where The Corner Office comes in and allows me to focus on what I'm good at, what I'm passionate about, and helps me know that I won't make mistakes with our finances. The Corner Office staff are reliable and informed, they know the ins and outs of not just accounting, but business and entrepreneurship as a whole.”
“Having a Contract CFO that understands my family, my drive, my passion, and my vision for the business, but also knows my limits is so valuable to me. My biggest challenge is that I tend to bite off more than I can chew. Having a Contract CFO to keep my business activities on track, keep me grounded, but also support me in growing my passions, and tell me how I can get to the next steps is so helpful."
How have you gone about growing your business?
“The privilege of working with The Corner Office is that the relationship is built, I've transitioned from a cook to an entrepreneur and I've personally grown into the roll. But as an entrepreneur, there are so many things on the go and I have so many new ideas as I see opportunity in everything I do. So, I have 3 filters that I go through before an idea is approved to be set into motion and discussing it with my Contract CFO is one crucial filter for me. Bev is always willing to listen to my ideas and give me constructive feedback to help me implement ideas that are the most effective for the business”.
“With The Corner Office's help, our company has grown 25-30% every year. And we've changed some of the business functions to focus on what we love, but also on what makes the most sense for our company and for our numbers."
"The Corner Office helped us find our priorities to best grow the company, and that doesn't mean that there is no risk in the paths we chose, but calculated risk. If you're informed and have the right support, strategic risks can really pay off.”
Utilizing the right systems and programs is crucial for new businesses looking to maximize profits and reduce wasted time. “What would normally take a lot of time and work for me to manage every week is now done easily because we have the right programs in place and The Corner Office team integrates with those programs so they can easily manage our payroll and other business functions.”
“The relationships and the comfort factor sets The Corner Office apart from the rest. They really care about me and my business. They keep us on track, and they understand the details of what needs to get done and how I can do it. It's more than just accountability, they have our best interests at heart, and everything is clean and fully transparent about the costs and how my business is going.”
What is the biggest highlight of owning your own business?
“I love seeing the expressions when I'm serving plates to customers and friends, having a chance to talk with great people, and hearing their reactions when clearing the plate.”
If you've ever seen the gorgeous plating Milton and Louise create, you know why that would be a highlight. It's truly a work of art that you eat.
Photos from https://www.instagram.com/skyecafebistro/
What advice would you give to new business owners and young entrepreneurs?
“My advice is that you can’t build a business all alone. In my experience, you need three professionals to help you: a good lawyer to help you with contracts, a great contractor, and a very strong accountant.”
If you’ve been inspired by Milton’s story, you should visit his restaurant Skye Café & Bistro at 2903 Powerhouse Dr Regina, Saskatchewan, or his website https://skyecafeandbistro.com/.
Starting and owning a business can feel daunting, complex, and maybe even isolating sometimes. The Corner Office acts as a true partner, helping you achieve your goals along your entrepreneurial journey.
If you’d like to know more about what The Corner Office can do for you, please visit www.cornerofficeCFO.com