The Story of Paesan’s
It all started 20 years ago when my brother Vinny was working at my cousin’s pizza place in East Greenbush. An opportunity presented itself in Albany, NY. A small rundown building on Ontario Street, which was known as the college ghetto was for sale. My father gave us the option of going to college or starting a family business. This was not a hard decision for my 2 brothers, Lorenzo and Vinnie, and I. Leaving everything behind, we packed up and were off to Albany. We were denied our first apartment in East Greenbush, which ultimately forced us to live in one room above the pizzeria. It seems hard to believe, but the five of us lived in one room, sleeping on air mattresses and sharing one bathroom. Talk about close quarters!
We worked 17-hour days, 7 days a week. An 8-hour shift was considered a day off. But Sundays, my mom would cook a big meal; we would all gather in our tiny room and have a family dinner. We had a makeshift table and used old pickle buckets as chairs. It was great! My brothers and I took turns eating because someone always had to be downstairs working, but we were together and that was good enough for us.
Business was hard for us in the beginning. Here we are a noname family from Brooklyn, NY trying to build a successful restaurant. After watching my mother become emotional one night and question whether we made the right decision, we made a promise to her and were determined to succeed. My family worked endless days with no time off. This business was and still is our number one priority. The debt we owed our family slowly vanished and my mother no longer questioned our move. We had dreams of expanding our brand and did just that. My father always said that if you put a nut in a paper bag, it doesn’t make a sound. But if you put three nuts in a paper bag, it makes a racket. It was his way of teaching us to stick together. And we have.
20 amazing years have gone by and we still have not separated from each other. Now we all have our own homes and live on the same street. Our family has grown from five to fifteen and we still gather every Sunday for family dinner. Coming from a large Italian family, we had a lot of support and love over the years, and our hope is that we will continue to grow and hand it down to the next generation.
So, from our family to yours, THANK YOU for your continued support over the past 20 years!