SHOP PENN Get To Know: Louie Louie's Sydney Grims
SHOP PENN is more than a destination for an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants set in a uniquely beautiful university setting but also includes a dynamic group of owners and operators who pour their heart and soul into these businesses. In this new series, we will be introducing you to an active member of the SHOP PENN family through our Q&A spotlight.
Louie Louie has been a go-to spot in University City since its opening in 2018. The popular American Bistro offers a delicious European-inspired menu with seasonal dishes in a beautiful setting. Sydney Grims, who has overseen the restaurant since its opening, has the business in her blood. Daughter of Philadelphia restaurateur Marty Grims, she grew up around the business and has followed in her father’s footsteps. We were excited to sit down with Sydney and talk about her love for the family business.
Q) What is your current position at Fearless and how long have you been with the company?
SG) I am the Director of Business Development and joined Fearless 3 years ago!
Q) How did you get started and what led you to where you are today?
SG) I grew up in the restaurants! My dad owned a couple of restaurants growing up, so on the weekends, I went to work with him. Both of my parents worked on weekends, so I got my start earlier than most! I followed my family tradition as a restaurateur, being the first woman in the family business.
Q) What motivates you to do what you do?
SG) Honestly…..a lot of people like doing what they do because of the guest experience. I love building a team. I love teaching, mentoring, and growing people. Obviously, we couldn’t do what we do without people coming to our restaurants (haha), but what motivates me is creating a really happy and positive work environment. I love it when my team comes to work and is excited to see me and be there. That’s the best part.
Q) What do you find to be the most rewarding part about your job? The most challenging?
SG) Most rewarding is when we can turn around a poor experience and the guest puts their trust in us to come back, and we give them the experience that justifies what we do. I’d say the most challenging is the same. I HATE when I see a poor guest review. We look at guest reviews EVERY day; about 50 of us get them to our emails. That definitely gives me the most anxiety. People don’t realize any time they post something about our restaurants that I read EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
Q) Do you have any key mentors or people who have deeply influenced you?
SG) My Dad. I don’t have some crazy story about a famous chef or restaurateur that I aspire to be. I aspire to be me. That’s something my Dad always taught me. He’s not the flashy, in your face restaurateur in Philly. He appreciates simple things: being kind to everyone, walking softly but carrying a big stick, being humble, just focusing on his company, not worrying about competitors, working in the yard, walking our dogs, and spending time with our family. He likes to be anonymous. I aspire to be just like him.
Q) How would people in your life describe you?
SG) Probably that I have a lot of energy (hahah), but I would hope they would say I’m always smiling and positive.
Q) What is your proudest accomplishment?
SG) Can’t say I have one. Hopefully, the opening of Rosalie my new restaurant will be…but I think “proudest” is a weird term. Pride is not a good quality, in my opinion.
Q) What is your favorite thing about Philadelphia?
SG) I love the grittiness. I love the attitude. I love the hard-working nature of our people.
Texting or Talking: Texting
Favorite Day of the Week: I mean FRIDAY, DUH!
SHOP PENN Business You Frequent (Besides Your Own): Blue Mercury!
Favorite Holiday: Halloween, I love all Fall festivities
Place You Most Want To Travel: Dude ranch in Wyoming
Go To Guilty Pleasure Food: Five Guys burgers
Cake or Pie: Chocolate Pecan Pie from our White Dog Bakery
Something You Can’t Live Without: My puppies, Louie & Pip