At the age of five years old I arrived in the USA with my Mom and Dad from Naples Italy. As I am the youngest of thirteen children, which happens to be, there is only one girl in the family. Some of my family had arrived early in the previous years and had established residency in Newark New Jersey. My first job at the age of nine was a delivery boy at Manno’s Meat Market delivering orders after school, and cleaning up the shop before closing the doors each day.
By the age of seventeen, I was a fully qualified meat cutter as the term is noted in the meat industry. And at the same age of seventeen, I purchased my first business in Newark NJ which was a closed meat market and had been closed for years. I purchased this business for $500.00, and 14 months later sold it for $3,000. This was the first of my many 265 owned businesses over some 49 years. My second business was a wine press barrel company and was purchased for $800.00, and sold for $7,000 18 months later. The reason both of these businesses sold for high prices was the increase in sales, profit, marketing, and a cost leveraging of the business at the time of purchasing.
In 1954 I attended an Equipment Show in California in search of certain supermarket equipment, and available pricing. The purpose of my search was, I had a strong interest in purchasing a closed A&P supermarket, and to convert it into an upgraded meat, deli, and cooked foods. This program never materialized as I was sidetracked from my original plans. I meet an executive while in California and was offered a position as a night meat manager for this supermarket chain. The marketing on the west coast is unlike the marketing on the east coast, and as a result, requires fewer cuts and less marketing. After six weeks, and being fired on the seventh week, which was due to my taking the liberty to change the cutting, and marketing system. This in itself was not acceptable and was not taken lightly. But after being rehired, and being fired once again 4 weeks later my marketing program was finally accepted, and within two years became the V.P. in charge of marketing and pricing.
Some years later I was employed by Foodtown Supermarkets and had the position of supervisor and marketing for their meat and deli departments. My position was to produce sales, pricing, profits, and some personnel control. We grew from 4 stores to 13 stores and sales increased by 55% over just a 7-year span. Competition in the supermarket's industry is fierce, and competitive, and is the best business training grounds available for all business owners.
In 1961 I took the position of director, and executive for a firm called Filigree Foods. This was at the time one of the largest wholesale companies on the east coast. They supplied groceries and frozen foods to almost every supermarket chain on the east coast. My position was to control and direct a new franchise program call Foodland Super Markets and to set up growth programs. My responsibility included warehouse control, pricing, and purchasing for the new Foodland franchise. Within 5 years the company opened some 65 Foodland Super Markets in New Jersey, New York, and Conn.
Some years later I created a food line called Crestacello Foods and supplied many of the supermarkets, convenience stores, and many of the airlines from Boston to Philly. This was my Italian line of cooked foods, and table ready to be served. Some of the products I created in addition to the Italian products were microwave sandwich products and a complete line of microwave breakfast for the airlines. This airline breakfast program was the only microwave breakfast that served hot egg omelets in 12 varieties, and Cold Fruit, and was accepted at once and under a 2-year contract. Within a short few years’ sales excessed more than $12 Million, and the company was later sold along with assets, contracts, and inventory.
After the sale of Crestacello Foods, I formed Equitable Realtors, the selling of commercial property and businesses. I never found comfort in the selling of homes and associated mostly with business owners and the selling of businesses. This process produced 1000’s of businesses sold and satisfied clients. Later as Real Estate Broker acquired a Mortgage Bankers License and worked toward the lending of loans to business owners. Over the years, as business loans were granted to qualified borrowers, an educational program consisting of 100 hours was made available for my clients. Though this form of in-class education and the teaching process yielded on average a 90% success rating. This rating was evaluated through the repayment schedule of the loans, as borrowers were required to repay the loan within a 36 to 48-month repayment schedule.
Also under contract with other national and wholesale firms was consulting, pricing, evaluations, marketing, sales, and new product development. Some of the companies I consult for, sold products to, and companies that were my direct customers: