Pat La Frieda
If you don’t know who Pat LaFrieda is, you must be a vegetarian. This meat guru extraordinaire learned everything he knows about the business from his dad, Pat La Frieda Sr. In fact, the La Friedas have a long history of dads-in-chief, stretching back to La Frieda’s great-grandfather Anthony LaFrieda, who came over to New York from Naples to start up their business. Now as a fourth-generation butcher, LaFrieda Jr. has totally transformed their biz, acting as the meat supplier for places like Mario Batali’s restaurants and Shake Shack, creating custom patty blends, and catering to about 400 restaurants. Here are the most important things his dad taught him:
Be the nice guy
"In general, the most prominent of all I learned from my father was the idea of civility. He taught me that civility was something that one should walk with throughout one's life, that it is a guide to how one should conduct themselves in private life and in business, and it would be how others would judge me."
Work ethic is key
“To run my business, my father taught me that above all else, work ethic was the only difference between two people competing in an industry. The concept of working hard is simple to explain, yet my father never explained it to me verbally. It was something that he demonstrated every day by example.”
Be the type of person everyone can respect
“My father has his core group of friends but never lets that restrict him from being overly friendly with everyone that enters his world. What's fascinating is that he does it in an honest manner, meaning that he is no chameleon. He doesn't act differently or change his views like many do in those circumstances. He stays true to himself, is loud about it and what's fascinating is that he gains the respect of those around him because of it. As his childhood friends often tell me, he has always been the one man that could walk through his neighborhood, passing many groups of people, some having been bitter enemies with each other, yet having each group stop to greet him."