By Pradip Rodrigues
Mississauga, February 19 (CINEWS): “Let’s do lunch at Breakwater restaurant at 1.30 pm Friday,” says Sam McDadi, a realtor in a class of his own who needs no introduction in Mississauga or for that matter across the GTA. He glides into the restaurant, takes a seat by a window overlooking Lake Ontario, it quickly becomes apparent that he knows his way around this exclusive haunt of the rich and famous. Breakwater is a fine dining restaurant located in the Waterside Inn, a unique boutique hotel in Port Credit, Mississauga. McDadi has warm and fuzzy memories of this restaurant which was where he proposed to his wife Ersilia 10 years ago. This restaurant is helmed by the reputed chef Carl MacNeil who has conjured up some interesting takes on classical cuisine and the result is some highly acclaimed haute cuisine.
Sam McDadi is a peoples’ person who is by nature guarded when it comes to revealing much about his personal life, but today he is remarkably unguarded. He youthful appearance belies his age (52) and it is clear that he’s a man who has fastidious instincts starting with his well-coiffed hair, his smart jacket and most of all his diet where there can be no compromise. “I don’t drink or smoke and lead a very disciplined life. I have a personal trainer who I work with four times a week and my food consists by and large of vegetables and salads flavored with good ingredients. I don’t eat red meat, stick to chicken and have temporarily eliminated fish because of reports of high mercury content,” he says. He is a voracious seeker of knowledge that goes beyond just real estate, he researches about everything that goes into his body.
The restaurant is filled with an elegant and smart set of people all enjoying a lazy, late afternoon meal.
The waitress comes by with menus, we start with sparkling water, peruse the menu, opt for the two-course menu of an appetizer and main course. It is Butternut Squash Soup for McDadi and Aura’s Mediterranean Flatbread heaped with olives, fresh sweet tomatoes, feta cheese, sprinkled with fresh oregano and drizzled with flavorful Tuscan olive oil for me.
There was a time many of McDadi’s friends and acquaintances were convinced he’d stay a bachelor, that was until a friend set him up with Ersilia, they hit it off immediately and ever since this wonderful person has brought much
purpose,joy and meaning to his life. They don’t have kids which makes it easy for them to take off for Florida for 4 to 5 days every month where the couple have their second home. “When I am down there, I spend my days playing tennis with the pros. I love sports and you could say tennis is my guilty pleasure,” he reveals.
Our appetizers arrive, McDadi tucks into the creamy soup, it doesn’t fail to impress, the Aura Mediteranean Flatbread is scrumptious and bursting with flavor.
Sam McDadi was born in Beirut, Lebanon, came with his family to Canada via Belgium, landed in Montreal, a year later headed to Mississauga where they’ve lived in Lorne Park, South Mississauga, he still lives in the area. He worked a year in corporate finance, that really felt like work as he routinely had the Monday morning blues. But sales was his calling, he became a real estate agent, worked really hard, made sales and never looked back. Today Team McDadi boasts $3.5 Billion Dollars in Real Estate Sales. “I enjoy what I do and intend working until I stop enjoying it,” What makes Sam McDadi the go-to guy if you want to buy or sell a multi-million dollar property is the fact that he has a reputation for being a trustworthy, meticulous and thorough professional. This explains why he’s been around 26 years and his business is growing at a healthy 20 percent a year.
“There are 44,000 real estate agents out there, many believe it is easy but get disillusioned. Twenty per cent sold nothing the previous year, 50 per cent sold less than four houses. To be successful you have to stay current, follow the trends, do homework and be honest,” he says.
He pioneered home auctioning in Mississauga when he tied up with Richies auctioneers of fine homes. “Selling homes costing $8 million dollars is a challenge and takes time. The marketing has to be done abroad as well as here. The lion’s share of bidders at these auctions are Middle Eastern, Asians and South Asians,” he says.
It is clear that foreign money is not only fueling the real estate market but is propping up the demand for luxury homes.
Prices of high end homes have jumped phenomenally in the past five years alone. “The old high end $2 million now doesn’t do it. You won’t get bells and whistles. You need $3 million to feel good and $4 million for a home that has all the checkmarks,” he observes.
We order our main course, Chicken Stir fry without rice for Sam. I order the sinful Chicken Envoltini Marsala, stuffed with ham and cheese, rich mushroom Marsala jus which really is a thin gravy made from Marsala wine and seasonal vegetables which arrives soon. We dig in, savouring each delectable morsel. Nothing like spending an afternoon in good company at a fine restaurant enjoying a wonderful meal.
Sam McDadi may be a multi-millionaire several times over, but he is remarkably grounded and down-to-earth. A keen listener who listens intently, unlike many ‘busy’ people who simply have to attend to text messages as they speak, Sam never once glanced at that phone. But he deals with his correspondence promptly and his time management has gotten even better ever since he got a driver.
He’s a man who clearly seems to have everything he needs and is a big believer of giving back. “Instead of giving large amounts to a couple of charities, I prefer giving smaller amounts to many charities,” he says.
We’re done with lunch and it is time to part ways. Sam gets into the backseat of his car, waves goodbye and then whips out his cellphone and deals with all those million dollar deals, but when you are with him, it is you that ends up
feeling like a million bucks.