Growing up with two brothers in Yonkers, NY, Anthony inculcated his parents’ strong work ethic, an internal driver of every aspect of his life. When his family’s financial difficulties necessitated Anthony’s withdrawal from Pace University after two years, he forged ahead into local politics. Mentored by the politically powerful Spano family, Anthony became chief of staff, running both the political and governmental aspects of the operation. He remained immersed in politics while attending SUNY Purchase and St. John’s Law School, and working at IBM. As an attorney and politician, he internalized key competencies and ways of operating: connecting with clients, discerning and satisfying their needs, developing strong relationships, and juggling multiple responsibilities under tremendous time pressure in a constantly shifting environment. Anthony credits these elements as the key to his success in every subsequent endeavor.
After joining a Westchester-based law firm with a lot of political connections, Anthony found himself immersed in a political culture permeated by unsavory and unethical behavior. He was indicted for corruption in 2010, eventually convicted, and sentenced to a year in prison in 2016. The fallout was devastating: shredded reputation; loss of clients, colleagues and career; strained marriage; upended family life; depression, anxiety, shame and self-denigration; and, of course, the loss of his freedom.
Needing to figure out how to support his family, Anthony purchased Trattoria 632 in Purchase, NY, despite having no prior restaurant experience. Meanwhile, Anthony endured further trauma with the death of his younger brother and destruction of his restaurant by fire. Despite all of these formidable obstacles, Anthony rebuilt, learning the restaurant business and developing idiosyncratic, highly successful philosophies and business approaches that distinguished Trattoria 632 from the competition. Fueled by resilience, perseverance, and creative thinking, Anthony made those ways of operating the hallmarks of his restaurant:
Anticipating, discerning, and satisfying customer needs
Authentically connecting with customers and developing meaningful relationships
Creating a close-knit, warm, caring family atmosphere for both customers and staff
Egalitarian work environment where every employee is a valued and respected member of a team that assumes multiple roles
High quality, fresh food
Unique energy and personality that has proven to be an irresistible draw
As a sole proprietor, Anthony is involved in every aspect of the business, wearing multiple hats, juggling a huge number of responsibilities, and problem-solving moment by moment. He must see the big picture while simultaneously attending to innumerable details. The 24/7 nature of the business wreaks havoc on his family life; boundaries between the personal and the professional are often blurred.
The pandemic has been the ultimate external challenge. In our videocasts, Anthony takes us through the psychological, economic, interpersonal and cultural ramifications of this crisis.
Anthony’s first love has always been real estate development and financing. He has managed to sustain his involvement in these other business ventures even while running Trattoria 632. In fact, revenue generated by these businesses enabled Anthony to capitalize the restaurant during the pandemic and keep it afloat.
Anthony is contemplating expanding his restaurant business by importing Trattoria 632’s energy, personality and unique operating approaches – along with his skill set – to another restaurant he has deemed a good fit. Ultimately, he wants to own both the businesses and real estate to ensure his children have the financial security to pursue their passions.