The nomination of Anne Reitz suggests that while many descriptors suit her, before you can be any of the others you must first be confident in your beliefs and actions knowing that you’re making the right choice. That suits Anne to a “T.” When she decided to dramatically remodel her renowned Caffe Tosi against popular advice, she was confident that it was the right thing to do. She was proven correct and now boasts that it was a critical necessity with the proof showing up on the bottom line with sales skyrocketing despite creating the makeover during a global pandemic during which restaurants were failing all across the landscape. Anne’s career path as an entrepreneur has been recognized dating back to an early age when she valued her abilities and put her desires to make money to work as an elementary student and has continued to do so throughout her entire career, holding many leadership and managerial positions along her path to success. She launches every project from the ground level up and builds her solid foundation with a plan that leaves no room for error. She has become legendary across the region as a true Bold Woman of Business.
Where do you live?
Saint Joseph, MI
Company or Organization
Caffe Tosi/Wally and Gertz
What is your job or role there?
Owner/ general mgr/accountant/trainer/human resources/ payroll/banking/hiring/firing/barista/marketing/advertising/merchandiser/
How do you think that Bold Women of Business demonstrate being bold?
I think Bold Women demonstrate being bold in many ways. We each have our own unique style. Some may be great speakers, some may be great caretakers, some may be great teachers, but for me, a woman best demonstrates being bold through her fashion. I have a love for fashion, and a degree in fashion so that’s what I gravitate toward. If I see a fashion-forward person from across the room, without even knowing her or what she does…..I think she’s a BOLD Woman.
Bold women are often defined by a number of descriptors. Please choose from the following descriptors to produce the top three that you would say most exemplify your personality?
Please provide an example of when you feel you were at your very best in taking action on the job or in your role.
An example of when I was at my very best taking action in my role was how I handled the global pandemic crisis for my restaurants. My life/work experiences taught me many coping skills on how to persevere through tragedy by putting together a plan where I would win. Losing was not an option. Never is. I was out of the state on March 17, 2020, about to board a plane, when I got the word from our state, local, and federal authorities that mandated restaurants across the nation had to close their doors to customers for in-house dining. But, if we wanted to remain open, and still serve food, we would now have to adhere to a whole new set of guidelines for take-out, curbside pickup or delivery only. The Health Department, the state, and the feds all had new rules that were changing hourly. My employees were in a state of shock and everyone was scrambling to do the right thing when we didn’t even know what the right thing was. They were hopelessly scared. They were afraid they would get laid off and have no money to pay rent. They were scared that they would contract the coronavirus and give it to their family members, etc, etc. I had a 3-hour trip to think about my plan on the plane, but I knew no matter what I did and how the crisis was handled it would ultimately be a reflection of my leadership skills. I was the recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Cornerstone Chamber back in 2000 and I was not going to let my community down. I had to show everyone what I was made of and the reason they chose me to receive that prestigious award. I needed to set an example for everyone, but mostly to myself and my staff. So I decided first and foremost that I would not close our doors, I would not lay off staff, I would not reduce our hours of operation, I would not cancel our incoming orders of goods, but instead I would rely on my marketing skills, my promotional tactics, and my creative team to make it work. Together we were creative, we made new food specials, we transitioned right on into the pandemic mess head on, we made more food, we made more money, we kept our doors open and we all had fun. We created a fun atmosphere that everyone wanted to be a part of. We weren’t afraid of Covid. We needed to show the community it was business as usual. We would be the same Caffe Tosi, same hours as before, and same staff. Together we changed our business model, we adapted, we persevered, and we won!!! We made it. We gained so many new customers, we hired more staff, we all still got a paycheck, we could all pay our bills and we weren’t scared anymore. We had WON.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened on your road to success?
The funniest things that have ever happened to me in my quest for success are many. Sorry, there is not just one! Most of the time, they have involved the times I spend with my children together. Whether it was taking a road trip and all of the goofy things that happened along the way or the songs we made up to sing, or visiting an amusement park, or another country, eating junk food at the fair or all sitting in the same bed with popcorn and snacks to watch a movie!!! They always make me laugh. Both of my children are outrageously witty and when life gets too stressful they always remind me that there’s more to life than being successful in business.
Who most inspires your personal drive for success every day?
I have many people that inspire me every day. The list is long. Former bosses, athletes, family members, fellow entrepreneurs, singers, actors, but most of all I inspire myself with my innate quality to strive for excellence at all costs each and every day. It isn’t always easy…but in the end, the buck always stops with you. Always….no one else.
What is your best advice to women in Southwest Michigan looking to succeed, as you have, in business?
Best advice to give to others, is to always be your authentic self, reach beyond your own boundaries in everything you do, be daring, try new things every day, be friendly, be giving, have hope, teach others what you know, pass it on to generations before you and after you, have fun, and always adapt to new and improved methods. Work smarter, not harder.
What does your selection to the first ever Bold Women of Business from Moody on the Market mean to you?
The Bold Women of Business Award is Important to me. Its EVERYTHING. It gives me validation that I am appreciated by my community for all of my hard work and extra efforts and that I do not stand alone. It gives me gratitude. It gives me fuel to forge ahead when sometimes you feel like giving up. The last 2 years have been very difficult to navigate and it makes me realize that I’ve made it a long way. I WON. I’m a winner. It makes me proud of myself. It makes me look forward to the next challenge. And onto the next win. Thank you so much for selecting me in your awesome circle of BOLD WOMEN!