The Mozzarella Man and the Red Horse
From my earliest childhood in Naples, Italy I have been a chef! At nine years of age I was cooking wonderful foods for my family and friends. My grandmother, who was a master cheese maker, taught me to make fresh mozzarella, which has become the trademark to my name as word of mouth has made it famous across the country. How I love to see people enjoy good food! How I love to be the one to serve them! The love of family, the love of food, and the love of fellowship were the foundations of my life, and today, more than ever, I get to share it all with the wonderful clientele at the Red Horse Market. Many years of my life were spent working for others, but always the desire to open the doors to my own place of business remained the dream of my heart. When the opportunity to reopen and reinvent the Red Horse Market crossed my path, my heart leapt at it, and together with two business partners, my dream seemed to be in hand. The Butcher, The Baker, and The Mozzarella Maker opened the doors to the Red Horse Market on May 17, 2012 and took off running. What an exciting, joyful day it was to welcome the local Bonackers to taste the wonders that the Red Horse has to offer! From that first sunny day until today, our customers have been loyal and faithful to come in on a nearly daily basis, even if it is just to say hello. They are more like family than customers to us, sharing their lives and their stories with me as I share mine with them. However, as many in the community were witness to, it did not take long for us to realize that we three partners did not share the same vision; poor business decisions and personal differences threatened to put the Red Horse down. And then a heart attack laid me up for quite some time and the Red Horse limped along with no true headship or direction. By mid-2013 the partnership could not continue and just like any thoroughbred race horse, the injuries to the business itself were proving to be fatal. My dream seemed to be dying. Once again the doors to the Red Horse threatened to close. But I know that if we do all that we do with love, we cannot fail. I love to cook; I love to serve people; I love to see people happy. The partnership fell apart, but my dream would not. A friend, Jeff Lange, had stepped up while I was recuperating from the heart attack and simply took over the day-to-day operations of the store. Jeff would simply show up for work early in the mornings, take charge, and keep the store running smoothly…and not even on payroll! This is the reward of a good life, having good friends and good fortune. Jeff helped keep the dream alive and eventually became a new partner. To this day, he is invaluable to the success of the Red Horse. And then our butcher Pedro stepped up to become the third partner. He and his wife Martha hand-cut all the meat and seafood and prepare it to order for our customers. Pedro’s quiet nature brings a balance to our new partnership and his skill at his trade adds one more note of distinction to the Red Horse. With Chef Joe at the helm of the kitchen and Zio Bruno turning out the best pizza on the East End, the Red Horse has once again picked up its stride and continues to run the race with great pride and gratefulness. We have become a landmark in the area, one of those places where everyone really does know your name. It is a dream-come-true for my heart and I am glad to be able to share my story with you. .