An interview with PAOLA EMBRY, CEO of The Wrigley Mansion
(See accompanying feature story.)
When I was asked to run the Wrigley by Jamie Hormel, I was flattered and thought it was a great opportunity, but it's a team effort, and I have a great team.
The story goes that Geordie [Hormel] wanted to buy the piano at the Wrigley, but the stipulation was that it came with the mansion, so he bought the mansion.
I met Geordie a couple of times. He loved that piano and would play it for hours.
I was warned that running the Wrigley would be a different animal. It is.
I don't think people realize you need to become a member to eat here, but it's a luxury almost anyone can afford. [Prices start at $3 for a one-month membership.]
When the bank owned the Wrigley, memberships were $10,000.
My first order of business was to look at the numbers.
It's the little things that save money at the mansion. Like putting timers on the lights.
In my first two months at the mansion, I used to get lost. But when you get used to it, it seems smaller.
When you're restructuring, a lot of people say, "That's not the way we used to do it." You have to get them behind you or start with a clean slate.
I don't have an office at the Wrigley. I'm constantly running.
I wear high heels at Christopher's [and Crush Lounge]. At the Wrigley, it's flats.
The wine is one of my favorite parts of the job.
It's amazing how many things are constantly breaking at the mansion.
The breathtaking views make you count your blessings and take a few seconds to just say, "Wow."
Chef Christopher Gross is always there to give support. He's been a great partner for more than 20 years and I can always ask him anything.
At the end of the day you just want to know the mansion is running at its optimum and making people happy.