Inspirational Food Stories: A Look at Three Award-Winning SI Food Crafters

Staten Island, New York – For those interested in starting a small business, there are some stories that can inspire. At the 13th annual Uncorked Festival in Historic Richmond Town, three businessmen did just that, because of their special passion for food.

Successful business owners – from Staten Island – include Lorraine and Michael Delezia for “Butter Me Up”, “Cocaine Teresa” aka Teresa Pagnato-Rosenthal and “Glam Gardner NYC” aka Eli Stofo. So far in the food world, their niches have been forged by participating in various festivals with sampling and cooking demos. Here are their stories.

Michael and Lauren Delisia sell flavored butter from buttermilk. Scenes of “Test Makers” at the Staten Island Museum, Saturday, December 2, Asing Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens, Livingston (Staten Island Advance / Pamela Sylvester) Staten Island Advance / Pamela C.

Butter Me Up – Winner of the 2022 Founder’s Award

Lorraine and her husband, Michael Delezia, describe their journey so far in the world of food preparation.

Lorraine explained, “It all started in September 2016 when we tried to buy flavored butter for our nephew, Joey Peaches, a monthly subscription. After research, we found that it didn’t exist. Joked about starting his own Butter of the Month Club and by November 2016 we decided to go for it and start making butter for everyone!

They started this year with four flavors. Now, they have more than 30 in 15 wagon style and sconces to go with it.

Delisia working festivals and county fairs. He made his debut on Staten Island in the Advanced Cookbook Competition and Incorporated.

“Our first event was on Staten Island in March 2017 where we were very well received and have been growing ever since. As we got older we came out of the kitchen we were sharing with a friend,” Lorraine said. And about a year ago we moved into our 1,500-square-foot facility where we spend a lot of time making butter and baking slices.

The growing volume needed to sell at farmers’ markets, serve wholesale customers and create wedding opportunities has led the couple to invest in vans.

“These days you’ll see us wandering around in your ‘Butter Mobile’, so stop us as we pass by! We’re so grateful for the support of our customers, family, and friends,” Lorraine said.

Great food people

Rolling Thunder Chapter 2 New York-Frankie “Toker” Epis Memorial 3 Borough Run at Marine Corps League 246th Detachment at Sunside Cucina Teresa Gourmet Salad Dressing Teresa Pagnato-Rosenthal July 30, 2017. (Staten Island Advance / Derek Alvez). Staff shotStaten Island Advance / Pamela C.

CUCINA TERESA aka Teresa Pignato-Rosenthal – Winner of The Founders Legacy Award and presenter at Uncorked for 13 years

Even before the quarantine days of COVID, Teresa Pagnato-Rosenthal created delicious items for display on Instagram and Facebook. Finally, she brought with her a chef, a dog named Oliver.

“My passion for cooking came from my grandmother Teresa when she saw her cooking incredible Italian food,” said Pagnato-Rosenthal. ICE) went.

A mother of three (now Nana), she graduated in 2005 and worked in the restaurant business for 11 years. She now teaches private cooking, cooks and works as a private chef. Yet in the full life of a chef of various abilities, one thing she became famous for was a signature set of salad dressings – creamy balsamic vinaigrettes. Pignato-Rosenthal now manufactures them and sells them at festivals and markets. A loyal member of Verrazano Kiwanis, she regularly volunteers for nonprofits. And in her spare time, she works as an office manager at her husband’s plumbing company, Response Service Group, Inc.

“I like what I do,” he confessed.

Great food people

Eli Stufo is a glam gardener giving a presentation in Uncorked with wild herbal and plant tea and dipping oil. Pamela SylvesterStaten Island Advance / Pamela C.

GLAM GARDENER aka Aly Stoffo – Winner of the Palm Sylvester Award in historic Richmond Town for the best use of local ingredients

Dressed in a floral frock, a beautiful elliptical can drive the crowd into a frenzy – all tea samples and oils made from locally harvested and / or organic herbs and produce.

Stoffo is a fodder, environmental educator, and artist based on Staten Island. A resident of Travis, he owns Glam Gardener NYC, a mission-driven business dedicated to serving wild crops and organic herb products, environmental education, and sustainable art.

He graduated in 2019 from Arizona State University with a master’s degree in sustainable solutions, where he taught at the university and studied solutions within the food system. Shortly afterwards, he moved to Staten Island to start working with a green energy consulting company in Manhattan.

But there were other plans for the epidemic, and on Monday, March 16, he, like many others in New York City, found himself without a job and without a future.

During this turbulent time in world history, she turned to the source who encouraged her to study sustainability. “During this time, I finally bridged the gap between sustainability education, community, art, and advocacy,” she says.

He finally planted the seeds, so to speak, for Glam Gardener NYC. Today she works as a nature, outdoor, and foraging advocate in the Trust area, personally hosting community events. Topics discussed include education on local food, fodder, horticulture, and environmental advocacy. In April 2021, he organized a 500-man march to protect the Granite Valley wetlands.

What exactly is “fodder”?

According to Stoffo, this will be a “process of cutting down wild-growing plants for food and medicine.” She emphasizes the use of invasive plants in her work – flowers and vegetables that are not native to our environment that compete with native plants. They believe that cutting down wild-growing invasive plants could serve as a sensible solution to food insecurity and our personal health problems, as many of them have medicinal properties.

When she remembers why she was inspired to do her job, Stofo says, “Staten Island’s greatest resource is our green space. We should treat the places they are like gold. Learning from them, interacting with them, giving them back, and immersing ourselves in them when the madness of the concrete jungle comes before us, is the beauty of living a life that is deeply rooted in nature. And I hope to show others that we can connect with nature, no matter how civic our environment may be. ”

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