Sabato Sagaria

Sabato Sagaria

Master Sommelier, Co-Founder of Apres Cru Hospitality

Hospitality is the greatest team sport, and I couldn’t do what I do without my team.

You are always interviewing for your next job. It is an extremely small world we work and play in and you never know who is watching. Your current employer, a co-worker, the guest you are taking care of, the person you are interviewing just might be your next boss, a future investor, your next business partner, or the person that can unlock your dream opportunity.
When I travel and find myself in a place that is not familiar, I have a heightened awareness of my surroundings that affords you a glimpse at life through a new lens. It is in those moments that I find myself the most open and receptive to new ideas, thoughts and perspectives.
My sophomore year in college, I was a Teaching Assistant for the Intro to Wines course. I got paid $5.50 an hour and got to take home 2 bottles of wine each week. As soon as I realized I could get paid for tasting wine, there was no turning back.
The positive impact we can have on every single person we come into contact with is what inspires me to continue to work and excel in this industry.
An understanding of people and the importance and appreciation of the team that surrounds you are the most important skills to possess in our field. Surround yourself with people you can learn from. Be vulnerable and ask a lot of questions.
I keep my team motivated by finding new ways to give employees more than just a paycheck, that’s what gives them a reason to return day after day.
What I look for in candidates is a desire to learn, teach, inspire and an awareness that we all have so much more to learn.
When I was living in Aspen, you could walk out your backdoor and be on a snowboard, a hike, or a bike and out of cell phone reception. It wasn’t until I moved to New York that I realized the importance of those moments that allowed me to leave work behind, be present, focused, and to recharge. I really struggled at first without those types of outlets. Eventually, I started swimming and found the rhythm – repetition from being under water brings me to that happy place and allows my mind and body to emerge invigorated.
Lately, I have been drawn to books that force you to hold up the mirror or offer a glimpse into how others have led through adversity. A couple that stand out that I have read recently: “The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek, “Leadership in Turbulent Times” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, “The Ride of a Lifetime” by Bob Iger, “American Icon” by Bryce Hoffman.
Every interaction is an opportunity to gain or erode trust.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

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