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My entrepreneur bug started at 25 years of age. With little to no experience but a lot of ambition, I ignited from what I felt more comfortable in: music. From organising events for students in a local nightclub to creating a brand which not only changed National Day celebrations forever but has brought world-renowned artists to Gibraltar.

In tandem with this was my second passion, food. We transformed the former Salsa Fuego Venue (Eclipse Lounge) and created the ultimate social experience in Gibraltar, where you could ‘Eat, Drink and Party’ as much as you wanted.

Also in the food and beverage industry space we founded a much-needed little gem, The Gin & Wine Club, situated in Chatham Counterguard – Gibaltars favourite socialising spot.

Chatham Counterguard has become the go-to place in Gibraltar where you can find a variety of top restaurants, café bars and nightlife. We felt the need to enhance the strip with a premium casual, beautiful, dining experience. Collaborating with experienced business partners, who have vast knowledge in Gibraltar’s gastronomic scene, we founded the The Chimney. The Chimney tapas bar boasts an inviting atmosphere, where fresh quality tapas are served designed to share amongst friends. We have been blessed with our success as the The Chimney is always buzzing with customers. Following on from The Chimney we are currently working on a very exciting project in Chatham Counterguard; our latest business adventure “Trishna” is designed to creating an explosion of colors and tastes based on a unique Indian fine dining experience.

Moving together with time, we have also jumped into the fast-food/takeaway industry. Gourmet Grill, known for its American-style freshly made burgers, has undoubtedly grown to be a local favourite. This year we have created a consortium with a local supermarket branch and two other ready-made meals companies to create a corporate group which will constitute on bringing a distinct vibe to this fast-food trade, based on the principle that we only use fresh, top quality products; this in our view packs a meal with flavours and provides the ‘wow’ factor.

Giovanni with David Guetta

What is the most significant accomplishment that has shaped your career so far?
I feel each business is an accomplishment in its own right. I was raised by my grandparents, both of them pensioners with a real financial struggle to raise me and my two younger siblings. My ambition and goal has always been to be self sufficient and provide a good quality of life for my family.

What is Gibraltar as a whole doing well for business, and where is there an opportunity to grow?
I believe Gibraltar is doing exceptionally well for business, despite the global economic crisis looming on the horizon due to the current pandemic. I am certain Gibraltar will rise and overcome this challenge. Strength and growth only comes from continuous effort and struggle and I believe there are many opportunities in different sectors to grow in Gibraltar, but a good magician never gives away his secrets!

How has business changed in Gibraltar since you first started?
Business in Gibraltar has moved forward and changed in many different sectors from local developers, retail shops to bar and restaurants. I do believe Gibraltar has raised the bar in all

aspects and standards are higher in all areas than before which has helped our economy to grow and flourish. Though one of the most astounding improvements has been in the entertainment industry, namely the music festivals. Five years ago, the Gibraltar music festival started as a 1-day event and has escalated in to a 4-day event over the years. This year we witnessed the likes of Take That, Enrique Iglesias, Andrea Bocelli, and David Guetta on a 4-day non-stop back to back show. I am truly honoured to have played a role in a festival of that calibre, and it is one of the highlights of my professional career.

What is your business philosophy?
My business philosophy is The Law of Attraction. I am a firm believer that if you focus your thoughts and beliefs in a constructive positive manner you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Evidently businesses are hard work, which require long hours and plenty of determination to persevere and see your projects to completion.

What’s the status of the music festival this year?
That is a tough question to answer due to the current situation with COVID-19 – it’s extremely difficult to predict what will happen next and how it will transform the music festival and entertainment space as we know it. We are working within government guidelines, and as instructed preparation for Monkey Rocks is still ongoing, although on the basis that it could be cancelled at short notice.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next year? (what are the future plans for Project X?
Our main goal this year is to get all our businesses back on track as soon as the restrictions of the lockdown have been lifted, allowing us to trade again so we can provide our bar and restaurant services to the public, but the future plans for Project X look bright. Like I said before, a good magician never reveals his secrets… all I can say is watch this space!

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