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Blog · April 19, 2019

Entrepreneur Of The Year® Announces Alissa Leinonen of Gourmondo Co as EY 2019 Award Finalist

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Entrepreneurship is an unstoppable force transforming our lives, entire industries and economies, and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of it! Our own Founder and CEO, Alissa Leinonen, was recently announced as a finalist in the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2019 Pacific Northwest Awards program.

As the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs, Entrepreneur Of The Year has been at the forefront of identifying game-changing business leaders for more than three decades. The program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, John Mackey of Whole Foods Market Inc., Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc., Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn Corporation and Mindy Grossman of HSN, Inc.

“I’m honored to be included with such an exceptional group of entrepreneurs as a finalist for the EY award, “said Leinonen. “Having started Gourmondo 23 years ago, I am proud to be a part of the local Seattle food scene and grateful to work with the most talented and dedicated team in the Northwest. It’s been a big journey from when I started in the food business at age 14 as a dishwasher to when I opened Gourmondo in 1996 as a small cafe, to now with over 250 employees and serving over 3,000 meals daily.”

“When I opened Gourmondo I quickly learned that it doesn’t matter how smart, wealthy, educated, or experienced you are – it matters how much you believe in yourself and how willing you are to take risk. I also learned that money comes and goes; but your values never move, and I believe those values are the foundation of your company and the core of your culture. Gourmondo’s culture is that of a family, a group of individuals who take care of each other, share values, strong ethics, and a commitment to "do the right thing". It is a privilege to serve a community that that I love, with a group of people that I admire and respect.”

We’re excited to have Alissa recognized among so many other notable business luminaries in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about the Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific Northwest program here and follow our journey on social media, from finalist to award winner!