Bringing in the Taste of Italy in Montreal’s Corporate World
Free-spirited and possessing an exceptional sense of authenticity, Quebec’s own Tiana Chalifoux has become one of the best models for female entrepreneurship in the past decade.
A curious mind and determined soul, Taina left her family and moved to Montreal to pursue her studies in business administration after graduating from high school in early 2000. With passion for languages and fascination with the innerworkings of the world around her, she decided to study trilingual Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing and International Business at HEC Montreal and graduated at the top of her class.
Loving to travel and experiencing the world, Taina set out to explore Europe soon after graduation. This later became a catalyst for her entrepreneurial journey as travelling across Europe sparked a passion for good food and fun lifestyle in her.
The idea for her business came to Taina when a European friend visiting Montreal expressed his distaste for the quality of coffee offered at coffeeshops and restaurants in the city. Intrigued by his perspective and discovering the need in the marketplace, she set out to solve the problem.
Set on a mission to deliver Italian gourmet coffee to Quebecers and with the help of her savings during college, Taina set up the preliminary model of her business Di Napoli Coffee by importing the European coffee machines and biodegradable coffee capsules in 2014 and helping companies and organizations offer superior quality coffee to their employees. She has since been working with her European supplier and closely involved in R&D of the product. Di Napoli has since grown into serving more than 200 businesses in the metropolitan.
Encountering great reception and determined to develop and sustain a growth mindset, Taina’s preliminary business model has been evolving and improving in the past 5 years. Open-mined and possessing an exceptional versality in her approach in business, Taina has been able not only to survive but prosper in the Canadian business landscape.
Her secret to success?
“You must be able to disconnect periodically and willing to re-discover yourself.”, she explains. “I tend to want to learn and explore different hobbies occasionally. I find it helpful to begin the learning process from the beginning. The worst thing that can happen to an entrepreneur is coming to a false realization that (s)he knows everything about her/his business and industry. It will prove detrimental when you reach that point.”
“Another important factor is success is resourcefulness.”, she elaborates. “It is very important that as an entrepreneur, you stay informed about the latest developments in technology and use the right tools to set up, sustain and grow your business.”
Her objectives and projections for the next 5 years include growing Di Napoli across Canada and building a business team to support the ever-increasing clients. A true supporter of Montreal’s entrepreneur community and actively contributing to different organizations and student associations, Taina enjoys expanding her network and provide mentorship by sharing her expertise, story and lessons she has learnt in her entrepreneurial endeavours.
You can meet and hear Taina’s story later this January at hotel Le Saint James in Old Montreal where Taina will be the keynote speaker at Aspire2Inspire Series: Chapter II event. She will be sharing her story with a focus on the process of conception to ideation of a business idea. The series aims to celebrate female leadership and entrepreneurship in Montreal and helps to bring the female professional community closer by hosting networking events exploring and discussing relevant topics in business development and personal growth.
Author | Entrepreneur | Connector | Educator
With a wide array of solid experience and expertise in domains of education, business development and organizational change management, Sara is interested in the intersectionality of education and commerce.