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Meet Paul Barker of Pauli’s in North End

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Barker.

Paul is the CEO and owner of Pauli’s restaurant, a fun, casual eatery located at 65 Salem Street in Boston’s historic North End. He opened Pauli’s in June of 2011 after growing up in the food business. His grandfather owned and operated Pace’s grocery in the North End when he was a child. His father bought and ran Caruso’s Market on Salem Street while his uncle started J. Pace & Sons, a gourmet food market. And during that same time period his mother had a restaurant named Nicole’s. So knowing how to cook and serve quality food is definitely in his blood. Pauli’s is his third restaurant venture. Previously he founded Pachini’s, a fast-casual Italian restaurant in Hanover. He also ran and sold the very profitable Boston deli Scali’s for many years. Additionally, he ran the Pace Management Group, a retail and commercial real estate firm.

Has it been a smooth road?
Absolutely not, the road to a successful business is never smooth. I would have to say startup can be difficult. Long hours, financial pressures, crucial marketing decisions, evaluation and reevaluation of business plans have all presented some of challenging issues along the way.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Pauli’s – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I started working in the North End in my family’s food businesses when I was just eight years old. Back then, the North End was a neighborhood where everybody actually knew your name, and “freshness, quality and value” weren’t just trendy catch phrases—they were simply expected. Today, Pauli’s is based on that same philosophy. We believe you deserve food that’s always served wicked fresh, that always tastes crazy good and that doesn’t cost a lot of money. At Pauli’s, you’ll find the comfort food you crave, the healthy options you want and the variety you need, all for an excellent value. We specialize in creating fun delicious tasty food like making the most incredible lobster rolls and mouth-watering sandwiches.

What role has luck (good luck or bad luck) played in your life and business?
Hard work and perseverance are key crucial elements to success but there is no mistaking good luck and timing. In my business and life I have experienced both bad and good luck. Let me start with my life. I happened to have been blessed with incredible loving family and friends and a wife who I cannot have imagined sharing my journey without. This has given me a key foundation for success. In business I have been lucky in so many ways. Sometimes you try things and they don’t work and sometimes you do things and it’s the wrong timing or wrong action for that particular situation. You may do the same exact thing that failed at an earlier segment in your career and it’s a home-run years later. This has happened to me. I believe that you will never get lucky unless you are in the game working hard to achieve your goal. The thing with bad luck and it happens more than I would care to say in business, is that you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself as Sinatra would say and get back the game. The more that I understood that somethings are out or out of your control except your ability to keep moving forward the better I was able to deal with bad luck.

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