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March 13, 2018
#WomensWork Feature: Cara Paredes
Written by Kate Racculia
Cara Paredes is spinning a lot of plates. She’s the regional restaurant manager, social media specialist and graphic design coordinator for the 3PA Restaurant Group, which includes North Side favorites Tapas on Main, Cachette Bistro & Creperie, Urbano Mexican Kitchen & Bar, and the new Flying Egg and Peculiar Wine & Beer Shop, plus Easton’s Mesa Modern Mexican. “I would describe the restaurant business as having no beginning and no end,” she says. “We always strive to have excellent service, and food and ambiance with a humble attitude—so our guests come back again and again.”
It wasn’t what she thought she’d be doing with her life. She planned to be a visual communications designer, and had, when she moved to Brooklyn after college, “every intention of landing that awesome ad agency position.” But life is funny; it points us in new directions. She worked at several restaurants during that time that prepared her for her current role. “Little did I know,” she says, “I would be managing slash owning multiple restaurants in the years to come.”
She credits her husband, Juan Carlos Paredes, proprietor of 3PA Restaurant Group, for encouraging her to build on that experience within the restaurant business. She also cites her mother as a key influence in her life—“she absolutely helped shape the woman I have become”—as well as many teachers at Easton Area School District and professors at college, specifically women, who inspired her dreams in visual communication. “Although I didn’t necessarily take that direct path,” she says, “[those lessons] have not been forgotten, and I use the skills I learned daily.”
Life isn’t one set path, which can be disorienting, and might require you to get comfortable with discomfort. Through it all, “don’t give up on what you truly want to do and who you want to be,” Paredes advises. “Also, it is so important to ask questions. Don’t be afraid.”
Ultimately the detours and challenges can lead us home, and to rewards we didn’t know to imagine. An Easton native, Paredes loves being in the Lehigh Valley. “[It’s] always been an amazing place to live, but it’s just becoming such a cultural giant in the tri-state area,” she says. “I can honestly say it’s where I want to be.”