This is Molly Superfine Rivera.
Molly is 32 years old and is the owner of Marconi. She is originally from Miami, but lived in Mexico City and New York City before moving to Montreal five years ago. She has one brother and one sister, and is the proud mom of a young child called Leon.
When Molly graduated high school, she decided to take a sabbatical year and to go on a Euro trip for a few months. Coming from the United States, taking a year off before university over there also means losing eligibility to all scholarships. Molly, being the little rebel that she was, decided to go anyway. When she came back, she decided she would work her way to university anyway and started a physiotherapy degree. A couple of years after she started the program, it went from being a bachelor’s degree to a medical degree. Medical degrees are extremely expensive in the states so completing the program wasn’t really a possibility for her anymore. This was one of the key factors that oriented her to bartending.
When that happened, Molly had already been working in the hospitality industry for a few years and was starting to realize that she became quite passionate about it. She loved what she was doing. It was bringing her happiness, it was fulfilling her need to be with people, allowed her to be creative, and sustained her soul. Why would she keep on chasing after a goal that was so unobtainable and that might not bring her the same level of happiness as bartending was? She was 21 at the time. And she has been bartending ever since.
Molly has worked in hospitality for 13 years now. She traveled a lot and worked in many places, but it all started as a cocktail waitress in Miami at a time when craft cocktails weren’t really a thing. Eventually, there was a restaurant with a proper cocktail program from NYC that was opening a sister restaurant in Miami. Molly was hired to be on the opening team. She was supposed to start as a barista, but spent all of her time helping the bar team, unloading boxes of alcohol, talking to them and asking questions about the bottles she was placing. At one point, the wine director came to her with a book and told her she could join the team if she read it. Clearly, she did. And that wine director was Josh Nadel, which turned out to be one of the most influential people in her hospitality career. It was at that venue that she learned about using quality ingredients, fresh fruits and vegetables, making syrups, etc. Eventually, she left Miami and found herself working behind a very small bar in Mexico City called Bang Bang. The bar manager there was obsessed by classic cocktails and he drilled her on classics. She had to make over 35 Negronis before she was allowed to serve one to a guest. Every time she tried, he would drill her on the art of balancing a drink, the importance of ice and of the state of an ice cube in a glass.
If you have ever been served by Molly, you know that she kept a great appreciation for this approach. She loves classics because there is no hiding when you mix only alcohol together. It’s not like you can mask certain flavors with syrups or juices. For her, simplicity is key in everything in life, she doesn’t like when things are too complicated, and same goes for cocktails.
Molly had always wanted to open her own place. Back when she was still living in Miami, she would hang out at a place called Deli Lane. It was a simple Deli, where everyone form then industry would meet at all time whether it be for morning coffee or night time shots. She loved that it was the epiphany of community, but hated that you couldn’t get anything really good to eat. She thought that one day, she would open a place like that where people could meet and also enjoy simple quality food.
Back when she was working at Nomad in NYC, Molly met Mehdi, her now husband and business partner. They decided to come back to Montreal where Mehdi had already built a strong reputation as a chef, and to open a restaurant together. Today, Marconi stands as one of Montreal’s best restaurants and is sure far beyond the simple quality diner food she envisioned back at Deli Lane. However, it is a place where people can gather and enjoy truly delicious food, wines and cocktails. If you’ve never sat at the bar in front of Molly’s infectious smile, we would say that you are missing on a deeply hospitable and professional service experience that is sure to inspire you and affect your own definition of hospitality.
A little bit more about…
The three words that describe her best: caring – hardworking – passionate
The most magical place she ever visited: Sa Pa in Vietnam, on the border of China. She went there backpacking by herself and couldn’t find any accommodation because of a holiday she didn’t know about. After a full day of searching, she was approached by two ladies that had seen her walking around all day and invited her home with them. She went on a 6 hours treck in the mountains to reach their village. It was a shack in the mountain, with buffalos, chickens, cows, goats, a vegetable garden and rice growing everywhere. She lived with them and slept on a mat for 2 weeks. It was a very humbling experience. They taught her that if she wanted to eat chicken, she had to kill it herself, understand that you had to respect the animal and not waste any part of it.
Life moto: Live well, laugh often. Don’t take yourself too seriously, life is too short.
Biggest lesson her job taught her: Be kind, be generous, be patient.
What she loves most about owning her own place: Being able to control the environment. Provide a healthy work environment for her staff. She has experience pretty toxic work environments herself and wanted to create a space where people would feel safe, would feel good and could be creative.