The cheese salesman left without another word. I sat there speechless. Finally I said to my father “You can’t do that!” His reply was to start laughing, put the gun back in the drawer and say “I can do whatever I want.”
To say my education was “unorthodox” is putting it mildly. At 29 I was in meetings with people two decades my senior and having to negotiate better deals then competitors 3 to 30 times bigger than us. I focused on re-structuring every part of our company. And I had my successes and failures. Unfortunately, six years later my father and I ended up going our separate ways. But I learned more from him than any time since. And when I wanted to start my own yogurt manufacturing business, he offered to mortgage his house without a moment’s hesitation. I struggled for half a decade before finally shutting the factory down. He never once said an unkind word about it.
Since then I’ve started my own companies as well as working as a partner with my sister at Epicure Foods. The gritty reality of food has mellowed a bit over time. Expensive whiskey bottles with hundred-dollar bills tied around the neck are no longer given to small independent stores. The large chain buyers caught with $100,000 in cash in their office desk are now retired or dead. But there are still a lot of interesting and really cool people in the world of food who you’d never hear about. They don’t use social media or ask if you can just fax them the information. But they work in food so you don’t have to! Please enjoy their stories in the magazine posts of our website.
About my father… He passed away in the spring of his 77thyear. And I still miss the sound of his laugh.
2nd year in college, went on a weekend trip to Florida
to see the Giants play football in the Superbowl.