Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nick Restaino, owner of Racioppi's Taralles, located in Bloomfield, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are an old-fashioned, unique Italian bakery. For the last 90 years, we have been specializing in the making of taralles. Taralles can be classified as round, Italian pretzels. However, this does not do them justice because they are tastier than a simple, hard pretzel.
Our customers are people who appreciate Italian tradition and people who relate to the Italian culture. Our customer base is absolutely not limited to this, but people who grew up with this background appreciate and know the product the most.
Tell us about yourself
I can remember being at the bakery for as long as I've been alive. It has always been a family tradition to be passed down to the next generation. The long-time family commitment only strengthens my will to continue it each and every year. As time passes, Racioppi's continues to provide quality products to people who have enjoyed them for decades and to people who have just discovered them. All of these people, the four-generational pass downs, and a love for being a part of the tradition are what keeps me going strong.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Keeping a 90-year tradition going strong while continuing to improve it as well. We always strive to gain more customers, be in more stores, and potentially have new flavors of taralles, so the work is never done. Seeing success every day towards progressive improvement in something that has already been around for so long is such a big accomplishment to me.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Unexpected inconveniences would probably be at the top. The COVID pandemic, equipment breaking down, employees not being able to be reliable, and so on. Things that cannot be planned for but still need to be dealt with efficiently can be a huge challenge for a business owner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I would say the three most important things to be a successful business owner are:
- Be consistent. Rome was not built in a day, but progress was made every day. Working towards a goal, even if only the tiniest bit, each day will go a long way over time.
- Be patient. Sticking with the Rome analogy, things need time to be successful. Yes, you can get lucky sometimes, but true lasting success comes with diligence and the ability to trust the hard work process.
- Knowing your why. Lastly, and probably most importantly, knowing why you do what you do is the be-all-end-all of a business venture. A why can give you perseverance through hardship, give you hope when things seem impossible, and push you to make the business better and better as time goes on. Not having a why is a recipe for inevitable failure because when things get hard, you will not have a reason to push through.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
The business was first started in Italy and brought to America in 1932 by the founder, Angelo Racioppi. It was passed down to Rocco Restaino, his stepson, and later to Rocco's son, Nick A. Restaino. We are now in the current and fourth-generational pass down, Nick A. Restaino's son, Nick G. Restaino.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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