Buddy's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    United States 2008

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Cincinnati, OH

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 5

  • ON DVD:

BUDDY LAROSA

Owner
LaRosa's Inc.

“You can't get wet unless you jump into the water. You have to go ahead and commit to something and try it.”

INTERESTS:

Entrepreneurship Food

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Culture Dedication Exploration Family Hard Work Planning Money & Financial Security Experience

FOUNDATION:

Accomplishing Goals

TAGS:

being yourself, business, commitment, contribution, digging ditches, driven, entrepreneur, food, Italian, Korea, Korean war, military, Navy, obsessed, odd jobs, Philadelphia, pizza, selling shoes, trying different things, war

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, was used as their “cheap labor” as a kid.
  • “You name it, I did it”: drove a cement truck, sold shoes, dug ditches for Cincinnati Gas & Electric, “must’ve had 50 jobs like that.”
  • Joined the Navy at 21 when the Korean War started up; stationed in Philadelphia, liked to hang out in South Philly, the Italian section.
  • Saw the pizzerias and Italian bakeries, decided he wanted to open up an Italian restaurant.
  • Set up a pizza booth at a church function; ended up selling out, being the most successful booth at the festival.
  • Started a store with only $400; had no idea how to run a business—took on an accountant, some partners to gain more capital.
  • His partners eventually sold their shares, Buddy grew his one restaurant into a tri-state, 60-restaurant operation.
  • Encourages young people to take minimum-wage jobs in fields they like, observe the higher-ups and see if they’re happy.

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