Alejandra Leal was born in Bogota Colombia, where she grew up in the south of the city. Upon completing high school, she started working in the restaurant business. For two years, Alejandra worked as a cashier, developing her customer service and financial acumen and proficiency. Despite her relatively young age, Alejandra quickly excelled, and took on management responsibility given her natural leadership abilities and quick learning. Alejandra was recognized as a high performing manager, and was once again promoted to Executive Assistant (Commissioner Manager), overseeing the management of inventories, and daily financial activities and reporting for eight restaurant locations. Through her tireless efforts, she acquired a deep working knowledge of structuring and costing of menus, standardizing recipes and implementing a new PO System. She was also given responsibility to train the staff.
After 6 years in the restaurant business, Alejandra took a position in the financial industry, working as a bank teller in Cavipetrol (Colombian Bank). She then moved into an investment portfolio analyst role, advising consumers on their investments and appropriate products in which to invest.
Seeking international experience, Alejandra moved to New York to study English, and within 6 months, she met John Philips and began working in his restaurant as hostess and cashier.
In 2016, John Philips was hired as a consultant by Coffeberry Restaurant (Kosher Restaurant in NYC), and he asked Alejandra to serve as Assistant Manager for the project given her expertise in inventory management. Together, John and Alejandra restructured and significantly improved the quality of the menu and overall business operations, resulting in an increase in sales of 100%.
Alejandra attended the University Central de Colombia, where she graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering, giving her a great foundation in production processes, production cost analysis and business administration.