Have you ever had that experience where an idea seems so far-fetched it starts as a joke…. But then that joke becomes a dream and finally - a reality? Today’s guest, Tony Scotto, a native of Naples Italy, immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager. His first job was in his uncle’s restaurant, where he learned English and began working up his way up the ranks in the restaurant world. Tony was still young when the idea of buying an existing restaurant, Towson Hot Bagels, with his siblings and cousin began as a joke. Not only did that joke turn into a reality, but Tony and his family have now grown to 6 locations. The stores are designed and built to reflect the piazzas of Southern Italy, where people gather with friends and family to enjoy food & share their stories, and their business philosophy honors the values of Tony’s grandfather, who owned an Italian deli in Naples. I really enjoyed this conversation where Tony shared so much insight and wisdom into the uniqueness of both Italian and American cultures, the ways he brings out the best in both, how to work with family, and building a thriving business that employs 150 people and thrived through the pandemic. There’s a lot of great stories, a lot of laughs, and a lot of wisdom in this interview and I’m excited that you get to hear from Tony right now!
Highlights of "Bringing Naples to Baltimore"
- The things Tony misses most from Naples -
- Tony's grandfather’s deli
- The best foods special to Naples
- “If you like to eat, you love to cook”
- Why the Buffalo Mozzarella in Naples is the best
- Naples is volcanic - didn’t know this
- Clam and pasta recipe
- How to shop for clams - what to look for, tips on making clams & spaghetti
- The difference between bread in Northern Italy and the rest
- The story of coming to America
- Drinking and leisure in Italy vs. America - drinking while having fun vs. drinking FOR fun
- Buying a restaurant all out of a joke
- Opening 2 locations and managing 100 employees during Pandemic
- How the US could benefit from being more like Italy and how Tony tries to bring that to his restaurants (by making their own experience)
- How they make a family business - and their family! - thrive
- Tony hires many people working their first job ever - here’s the advice he gives them
- The difference between a business owner who treats it like a job vs. a business owner that treats it like a business
- Does the US threaten family relationships that thrive in places like Italy?
Listen Now to Tony Scotto
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