The food and wine business runs in Sydney Grims’ blood. She’s a fourth-generation restaurateur in the Main Line region, taking after her father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
As the Director of Business Development for Fearless Restaurants, Grims oversees many of the Main Line area’s most popular dining spots and eateries. Rosalie, White Dog Cafe, Autograph Brasserie and more all fall under Grims’ purview.
Having spent 11 years in hospitality since 2012, when she began at the Hillstone Restaurant Group as an intern, Grims reached new heights working in the Main Line area while following in her family’s footsteps. Along the way, she’s also had to deal with the stress of upholding her family’s business.
“There’s definitely pressure to uphold a legacy. There’s pressure to not disappoint really everybody from the community to our team, our directors. There’s pressure to personally grow with my leadership skills in order to, at some point, fill very big shoes,” says Grims.
Those shoes have been molded for her going back decades. Her great-grandfather ran restaurants in the coal mining area of Lackawanna County around the turn of the century. Following that, her grandfather owned a restaurant called Central Tavern in downtown Philadelphia before her father founded what has now become Fearless Restaurants.
“I would say it’s just a part of your DNA at some point,” Grims observes.
Grims always knew that she was going to be a restaurateur, and her father never put any pressure on her to do so. He knew the hardships and the pressure that came with the job better than anyone.
Now, as the first female in her family to go into the business, Grims has more to prove than perhaps anyone else in her lineage. Though others could have failed and quietly faded away, there’s an unspoken societal pressure on women to succeed in traditionally male-dominated fields. Maybe that’s why Grims has gone out of her way to use her position to strengthen female voices. Fearless Femmes, Fearless Restaurants’ latest endeavor, is an enterprise that aims to do just that.
The project is focused around holding conversations featuring women in impactful positions. Whether that’s nonprofit work, running a business or bringing together those who have undergone experiences that can change the lives of others when shared, all women are welcome at Fearless Femmes events.
Traditionally, these events were held quarterly, but since the Fearless Femmes branding was adopted in summer 2023, the get-togethers are now hosted once every other month. Alongside the events themselves is an expanded social media presence on both the Fearless Restaurants and new Fearless Femmes Instagram accounts. Both profiles will see Fearless Femmes branded content on a weekly basis leading up to each event.
View this post on Instagram
Grims has helped organize other entrepreneurial women’s networking events, too. One of these, dubbed Naked Networking, had a simple yet compelling premise. All the women at the event were asked to remove their makeup. Though this seems a simple request, Grims acknowledges that it put many women in a vulnerable, albeit potentially more open state that invited them to focus more on themselves and their goals than on the societal pressures surrounding them.
It’s something Sydney Grims is well aware of, even if it’s something that isn’t always apparent to those around her.
“I would say that I’m under a tremendous amount of pressure that I don’t often speak about,” she notes.
While Fearless Femmes may seem as innocuous an event as any other, the support generated for this project proves it’s something special.
You can catch the next event on October 23 at Rosalie in Wayne, held in collaboration with Philly Fashion Incubator. During this session, attendees can meet designers like Julie Pierre, Jeanette Limas, Taliah Mateen, Elmira Vanderberg and more.
Summer flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%
Limited time offer. New subscribers only.