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We’re excited to highlight Sara Frasca and her newest venture as a successful entrepreneur. Sara Frasca is an internationally sought-after keynote speaker, business growth consultant, and restaurant owner with considerable experience sharing her humble expertise on innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
Her most recent endeavor has been franchising the neighborhood eatery, Trasca & Co, located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Beyond locally sharing her family’s delicious and inventive panino recipe, Frasca has plans for long-term, sustainable growth while the company continues to prioritize both the customer and the employee experience.
Sara Frasca provided us with invaluable insight on creating a business that you can be proud of and tips on how to navigate unexpected challenges.
The Frasca family has been making and selling authentic panino sandwiches using Frasca’s grandmother's secret dough recipe for Frasca’s entire life. Her primary goal in building Trasca & Co was to carry on her family legacy, not make a profit. She grew up in the restaurant business, watching her hardworking grandparents and their kids serve others with great pride.
The delightful panino sandwich also provided Frasca with a mechanism to serve her community. Customer service, fresh ingredients, and hand-crafted food are the focal point of Trasca & Co’s popularity.
Frasca reflected upon the way that her childhood and family legacy have helped her grow into the scrappy and motivated woman she is today, instilling gratitude within children as she exposed them to the same work ethic that surrounded her growing up.
Frasca started her career in food at General Mills. She left corporate America to start her own business before eventually coming back to General Mills with a “new lease on life.” No longer a cog in the system, Frasca utilized her entrepreneurial perspective to identify broken systems and establish creative solutions. There was no problem too big, nor solution too small, for her to tackle. Presently, she and her team found a happy medium creating scalable systems that are still nimble enough to pivot at the drop of a hat.
Tenacity is the first word to describe Frasca. She has a unique knack for facing challenges head-on with a smile. Initially, Frasca established Trasca & Co with a small business loan and careful planning. After years of steady and rewarding success, COVID abruptly halted the progress of millions of small businesses, like Trasca & Co.
Trasca & Co was granted a PPP small business loan during the COVID-19 pandemic closures. Her PPP loan was hijacked by criminals and due to the size of her company, the amount was so small that the FBI wouldn’t even take the case. Frasca proudly mentions that she and her “team of doers” were eventually able to come out of COVID better than they entered it. All her employees were able to keep their jobs and their regular hours, of which very few other businesses can boast.
A common theme in Frasca’s book of skills is to remain nimble. She regularly changed her business model during COVID — almost weekly! She credits this flexibility to the creative team that she surrounds herself with. Even with their backs against the wall, the Trasca & Co team thrived.
Due to the nature of her business with high food costs for quality ingredients and emphasis on attentive service, the profit margins were thin. Luckily, a business approached her very interested in Trasca & Co and approached the idea of franchising in a way that aligns with her vision.
She felt that franchising Trasca & Co the right way was her opportunity to share the panino with the world. Trasca & Co will be launching new franchising opportunities in March 2023, emphasizing long-term, slow and sustainable growth. She plans to do this by providing heavy support to each and every franchisee. As the president of the company, Frasca is looking forward to visiting franchise stores in-person statewide to make sure they are successful and have enough support.
Frasca advises budding entrepreneurs to surround themselves with people they trust implicitly. The trust must also go both ways; they are trusting you to make the best decisions for the company and the employees top down.
Having clearly defined roles and responsibilities communicated is essential for expectations to be met. Entrepreneurs should seek out business principles that allow for a controlled system with a balance allowing for an organization.
Ultimately, there is no magic potion for business owners to achieve greatness. Frasca advises her audiences and consulting clients that business ownership is a journey, marked by good decisions over a long period of time.
Being a woman in corporate America presents inherent challenges but it also can provide some positives. Frasca shared that two of her biggest inspirations were her mother Patty and her aunt Patty. Her aunt climbed the corporate ladder and was the principal of a school. She was tough and fair. Her mom Patty was gracious and kind.
Frasca reflects that there have been times when she needed to embody all ends of the spectrum. Some situations require empathy and compassion while some other situations evoke assertive leadership skills and concise expectations. Frasca fondly encourages herself and others to embody both Pattys’. Women should sharpen all of these skills in order to assess each situation appropriately.
Everyone has to bet on themselves, otherwise who will? Frasca passionately encourages women to take the leap of faith and be confident in their ambitions.
She is a champion of the importance of surrounding yourself with other women and a trustworthy team. She recommends finding a business mentor with strengths that you may lack. Business mentors should serve as sounding boards and guide you to finding the correct answer for yourself. Ultimately, if you stick to your guns and trust your gut instincts, you will find creative solutions to any hardships you face.
Sara Frasca is excited to share the launch of the Ponte Vedra Tap Room, which is an upscale bar serving craft beer, wine, and yummy cocktails attached to her primary Trasca & Co location. Frasca and her team are working on scaling their Trasca & Co system by mindfully passing it down one by one to each of the future Trasca & Co franchisees.
Additionally, she has honed in on expanding her keynote speaking content in anticipation to coach small and medium size businesses that can benefit from her first-hand knowledge. She is elated to find new ways to weave her business consulting content into her speaking career in order to reach as many folks as possible.
To learn more about Sara Frasca, bring her to your next event!
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