In 1998, Gerardo Seferlis was produce manager for the Miami Lakes location of an upscale gourmet grocery chain. The chain decided to close the store. He was placed at another of the chain's stores, but after a couple of months Gerardo realized that he missed and loved Miami Lakes. While working at the gourmet market, he established a strong local reputation for gourmet food items and award-winning gift baskets.
Gerardo decided to open Gerardo's Marketplace at the chain store's old site. Only 34 when he opened Gerardo's, the store offered a complete marketplace featuring a full deli, salad & soup bar, bakery, indoor & outdoor dining area, catering department, gift basket department and a fully stocked gourmet market featuring fresh juices, baked goods and natural foods. Seferlis had never owned a business or contemplated a solo venture. "I knew all my customers and they're the ones that needed what I had to offer," recalls Gerardo.
"It was not easy, but I knew my knowledge and experience were in my favor. You have to believe in yourself, no matter what. People want to judge you, second-guess you, but if you work hard, are responsible and have confidence in yourself, you will succeed. It has nothing to do with your background or your education. It's more about working hard, working honestly and having a strong customer service ethic."
And it's that customer service ethic that Gerardo credits for the success of his Marketplace. Throughout the years, his loyal customer base has come to appreciate the fresh foods and personal service that Gerardo's has to offer.