Claudia Bartra, of Boca Raton is the chief financial officer of the Peruvian-themed La Granja Restaurants, which opened its first restaurant in 1993, and now has over 50 locations.
Her father, Gustavo Bartra, brothers Rasco Bartra and Gustavo Bartra, Jr., and mother, Amparo Bartra, are all partners in La Granja.
Recently, Latin Style Magazine and Bank of America named Bartra one of 12 Hispanic Women of Distinction in 2015. The latter award, in particular, honored Bartra for being a “strong advocate and supporter of children’s educational issues both in the United States and her homeland in Peru.”
She and La Granja weer also recognized for efforts to honor war veterans on Veteran’s Day, and their contributions to ASPIRA, a Latino and Puerto Rican youth organization, as well as helping to fund scholarships for students attending Palm Beach State College.
About your company: La Granja was established in Aruba in 1993. My father and brother opened their first restaurant in Florida in Margate in 1995, and it was a success. Our rotisserie chicken and our flavor had a great acceptance. La Granja restaurant is mainly corporate owned. We do have some franchises, mostly of them owned by our [former] top employees.
How your business has changed: It was not easy at the beginning, and is still not easy today. We had to work hard to position our name. Competing with big food chains of restaurants is not easy at all. I have a wonderful team; we get the job done with great passion.
Favorite quote: I love the quote, “Conquer today and do it tomorrow all over again.”
First paying job and what you learned from it: At 17, I developed a clothing brand with my aunt in my hometown in Peru. We sold out; it was fun. I learned that discipline and determination are key factors to reach your goals.
Best business book you ever read:¿Estás Comunicando? by Mónica Pérez de los Heras.
Best piece of business advice you ever received: My father always uses the quote, “Great business, great problems and great solutions.” I always see “the glass half full.” Go around the problem and find the positive part of it.
What do you tell young people about your business? They have to take pride on their job. Do it with love and passion. Everything is always possible. Be persistent and have a lot of discipline.
What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County? I moved to Palm Beach County in 2004. It has grown a lot since then; new business and many home communities have been built. Palm Beach County is very family oriented; great place to raise your kids.
Where we can find you when you are not at the office: Supervising one of my restaurants. You can also find me working at home. The best part of my job is that I manage my time. Mostly, I work in the mornings, so in the afternoon I can spend quality time with my two kids and my husband. But I have to admit, I am never off work.
Favorite smartphone app: I have an iPhone 10 plus. Tablet and phone at the same time. So functional and convenient.
What is the most important trait you look for when hiring: The most important thing is their willingness to work, their goals, their commitment and their smile. Everything else can be learned.