Local chef teaches veterans about entrepreneurship | Local Business

LAKE LUZERNE — The key to entrepreneurial success is not keeping track of how much time it takes to achieve your vision, said chef Andrew Bourgondien.

“The minute you start counting the hours, you’ve lost. Don’t ever count the hours,” said Bourgondien, owner of UpRiver Café at 29 Main St. in Lake Luzerne.

Bourgondien teaches a course each March at Dog Tag Bakery, a program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., that teaches veterans how to start small businesses.

“The academia perspective is probably a little different than my perspective on opening a business,” said Bourgondien, who is in his seventh year operating the seasonal café in Lake Luzerne.

Making sure to have adequate capital is important, too, because it often takes longer for planning, renovation and getting government licenses and permits than one would expect, Bourgondien said.

“We bought this place in July of 2010. I, for some reason, had this grand idea that we were going to open up in August,” he said.

He wound up opening in April 2011.

“It was just cleaning, fixing, new equipment for the whole eight months, which was good because it gave us the opportunity to do it right,” he said.

His previous experiences included banquet chef and pastry chef at Inn at Erlowest in Lake George, executive pastry chef at The Sagamore resort in Bolton Landing, and at resorts and country clubs in Hawaii, Florida and Arizona.

“The biggest challenge is to retain good employees. To even get them to walk through the door is sometimes difficult,” Bourgondien said he tells students at Dog Tag Bakery.

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