Monday, January 19, 2015

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Foodie Quipper:

by Joe Ferri



Show-Bound Flash-Back




Joe Ferri



Three decades have passed since my first NAFEM Show.  As a young aspiring entrepreneur, I dug into my own pocket for that life-changing trip to New Orleans.  My little family and I could ill afford it, but we did have a project opening with a good client in the Crescent City concurrent with the show, and I needed to "punch-out" the job.


Staying in a budget motel miles away from the French Quarter, I walked daily to the city center in the sweltering September heat, taking my life into my own hands.  I was determined to make a name for myself, in spite of my disheveled appearance subsequent to that "death" march.


The industry revealed itself slowly to me at that seminal event.  I was wet behind the ears, and not just from the incessant heat and humidity.  I was overwhelmed.


All of the major big guys of the day were there - Alco Dispensing, Beatrice Foods, Welbilt.  On the show floor, my former colleagues from my previous affiliation ignored and snubbed me.


The show, then as now, spilt over into the city after closing hours, where the networking continued, but I was alone.  Locked out of the hospitality suites and parties, I was adrift in a sea of professional drunks. 


Soldiering on, I treated myself to all that my extremely tight budget would allow.  What a city to have a foodservice trade show in: Muffalettas, turtle soup, Gallatoire's and all that jazz!  I was in my element, but also isolated.


Gelato was all the rage back then in the 80's, and the show and the city represented this immigrant culinary treat well.  This was encouraging, as I had just broken away from an aspiring sales career in order to open my first business -  Tutti Gelati Displays - an ice cream equipment importer/distributorship.


I scarcely knew what a rep was, having only worked for distributors up till that point.  A few of them had befriended me in my nascent enterprise, including Bob Capano, Server Product's former rep,  Herb Kahn (I now rep Server these days),  and my future partner's dad, Ed Pecinka Sr.


Finding members of that NY rep contingent at the show was a welcome respite from the lonely path that I'd chosen for myself.  I can only hope to emulate the examples set by those giants of the industry.  You really never know what struggles someone else is suffering through, but somehow those gents empathized with and encouraged me.


Looking back at that time through the lens of the many fits and starts, I am gratified that the drudgery has finally paid off.  There was to be no instant gratification in my career, but instead large and small victories won through perseverance.


I still scarcely know what a rep is, as it seems we reinvent ourselves and our business model daily.  There are new conglomerates to contend with, different issues of the day (driven in large part by technological innovation), and many of the same players continuing to till the fields and joining the ranks of those of us lucky enough to attend another NAFEM show.


And head west we will!  The promise of  a brighter tomorrow, and the opportunity to count ourselves as members of the resilient foodservice equipment and supplies industry hopefully will inspire us and drive our continued success.  See you in Anaheim.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  All of our latest NAFEM show news and product introductions are HERE







EDITOR’S NOTE:  All of our latest NAFEM show news and product introductions are HERE

For Laughs:


  Humour to help with spelling desert vs dessert- It's that second 'S' that stumps some people.  



  • Blodgett has announced the they have signed a service agreement with All Service Kitchen Repairs to support the Blodgett/Market Forge products in the greater NYC market.
    Please welcome Rick Sher and his team: All Service Kitchen Repairs 10 Charles Street New Hyde Park, NY 11040 516-378-1176 516-378-1734-fax


  • Continental Refrigerator's new pricing becomes effective on 3/31/15 and hard copy Price Lists will be sent beginning the week of 3/16/15.

  • Hatco will be releasing new Price Lists, effective May 1st, 2015.

  • NAFEM Showplace™, The NAFEM Show mobile app is now available.







EDITOR’S NOTE:  All of our latest NAFEM show news and product introductions are HERE

Food for Thought is published weekly by Pecinka Ferri and includes advertisements for the products which we represent.

Joseph J. Ferri, CFSP, CPMR Editorr

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