Hugues stories - Francesca G Rodorigo: Portrait of a Business Lady
Don’t be deceived by the deep brown eyes and the discreet charm of her talk. Francesca is a naturally talented business woman: the refreshing simplicity of her talk covers the relentless diligence of a passionate entrepreneur.
We met Francesca in a café in Paris to discuss her future as Artistic Director of Bonhomie – a neo-mediterranean restaurant, cocktail bar and coffeehouse from the talented crew behind the Little Red Door (among the 50 best cocktail bar in the world) and Lulu White – Paris.
Originally from Italy – Francesca is a world nomad who seems to have found her home, for now, in Paris. With a background indesign, art history and hospitality marketing, Francesca has chosen to risk and create her own business.
She has been for 4 years the heart and engine of Marcovaldo a hype Italian coffee-book shop in the Marais in Paris, defined as a “must visit in Paris” by Louis Vuitton City Guide in 2014 for its vintage-chic interiors and delightful brunches.
At the same time Francesca was one the talented creative minds behind the first edition of the Festival Maggio in Paris, which brought for the first time on stage in France the best of Italian indie music, showing to parisians that ‘another Italian pop music is possible’ (Le Monde, 14 mai 2014).
H. Francesca tells us about your new adventure: Bonhomie
Bonhomie means a feeling of friendliness among a group of people, the atmosphere we are willing to recreate in this cocktail bar and restaurant that we have recently launched in Paris.
For the last 7 months I have been working hard with an international team of passionate young visionaries, creating and defining the details of this ambitious new project.
Bonhomie is giving me the opportunity to do the things I love and play with the different skills I am training along my eclectic path: one day I am in a radio station in Paris working on Bonhomie music events, the one after I am in Barcelona to work with a visual agency on the brand development to finally discuss with a starred chef in Athens about the name to give to a dish for an upcoming event in Paris.
H. What do you like about Paris and where else would you live?
What I love about Paris and the Parisian is the discreet elegance, never flaunted, which is the natural essence of the city. Still today I am impressed with the simplicity of the Parisian to hold endless conversations with a natural flair of existentialism.
After almost 8 years I keep having the feeling that I am living in a Rohmer's movie!
After the french experience, I would like to live in a city surrounded by a more wild nature such as Los Angeles or Cape Town.
H. What kind of experience was Marcovaldo?
I was 27, when together with Francesco my flatmate at the time, we took the decision to create our business. Working hard on the concept, we found the right chemistry to structure our ideas into a valid business proposition. It took us 1 year to define a business plan and when Marcovaldo was inaugurated we felt proud.
We worked with passion willing to create a place for alternative Italian culture in Paris. And I have to admit, it has been a unique occasion to connect personally with the musicians and writers I admire the most!
I am happy about this experience, Marcovaldo was our “culture club” for some years, and without it I would not have had the chance to work at many other interesting projects and meet many interesting personalities who have accompanied me along the road.
H. What is the quality most required in your work?
Endless curiosity, taking time to listen to people and give them the possibility to express themselves.
H. The future looks bright, for you Francesca. Is there something you would like to do?
I would like to have more time to see the world, meet people and have a better idea of what humanity really is. And then definitely go to space and see what life in our future would be like.