S1 EP0007 - Paul Guglielmo of Guglielmo's Sauce and Permac Industries Transcript
Paul Guglielmo, a staple of the radio industry in Rochester, New York, and an entrepreneur that relied on his Italian grandfather's recipes to craft World-Class pasta sauces.
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S1 EP0007 - Paul Guglielmo of Guglielmo's Sauce and Permac Industries
FULL TRANSCRIPT (with timecode)
00:00:00:08 - 00:01:23:19
Chris Missick: This is viticultural where we share conversations with makers, growers, thinkers and doers, folks who cultivate a good life. My name is Chris Missick and I'm a lawyer turned winemaker in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. And I'm sitting down with great people in wine and other walks of life to hear their stories, learn their lessons and take their advice on the perfect pairing. In this episode, we go beyond wine and vineyards to explore food and culture and family. Today, we're speaking with Paul Guglielmo, a staple of the radio industry in Rochester, New York, and an entrepreneur that relied on his Italian grandfather's recipes to craft World-Class pasta sauces. He's well on his way to carrying a closely guarded family recipe to great heights and in the process, honoring his family heritage and recognizing the importance of community. If you like this content. Please help us grow by liking this video on YouTube and subscribing to our show on your favorite podcast platform. Don't forget to visit our website at viticulture podcast Dotcom. Subscribe to our Substract, where you'll get show notes, transcripts, musings and exclusive offers and check us out on all the major social media platforms. And now here's the show.
00:01:33:12 - 00:02:04:07
Chris Missick: If you've been in the Rochester area, you've definitely heard the name Paul Guglielmo. He's worked with Brother Wease, and if you've been in Wegmans, you've seen his name as well. He's an entrepreneur who, as he says, blew up his career, something I can sympathize with when I left my prior career as a lawyer to make wine in the Finger Lakes. So thank you so much for joining me this morning, Paul. It's a real pleasure to talk with you. I feel like our lives have these parallels that I'm excited to explore so well.
00:02:04:09 - 00:02:14:06
Paul Guglielmo: I can't wait to get to the we both blew up careers that we put years of blood, sweat and tears into it. And then we eventually just went something else, I guess.
00:02:14:18 - 00:02:15:22
Chris Missick: Exactly. Exactly.
00:02:15:24 - 00:02:20:26
Paul Guglielmo: Love it. I can't wait to pick your brain on it because I still don't know what I'm thinking.
00:02:21:08 - 00:02:47:02
Chris Missick: Yeah, well, and it happens, you know, when we start off on these paths like they are the dreams were pursuing for our life, like so many things, led up to the point where we said, OK, this is going to be what I'm going to pursue, whether that was radio or law and you work and sleepless nights, blood, sweat and tears into it. And you realize at some point you come to your life and you're like, I'm not doing what I love anymore.
00:02:47:28 - 00:04:35:12
Paul Guglielmo: Right. It's that that was where I felt it was I felt that I had reached when it came to radio, I felt like I had seen the top of the mountain. Like I felt like I I got where I wanted to get in radio and I was looking around and I was going. So this is it, huh. Hmm hmm. It feels like this was this is good. But the other thing, meaning the entrepreneurial effort here that we're going to talk about, that's giving me a I guess for lack of a better term, it's giving me a higher high these days than, you know, hosting a radio show was giving me. And that was maybe when I knew it was like that's where my heart is being pulled. And also, it wasn't just about the heart. Chris, I don't know about you, but also, you know, the dollars and cents started to make a little more sense. Radio was not. It's hard because I don't necessarily want to, like, sit here and just and just say negative things about radio, I certainly have many positive things to say about radio and I've got a few negative things to say about radio. But it's not a business that you look at right now and say now there's a business for the future. Right. And so there was a Restoril radio. Yeah, yeah. It's almost like and it's funny because I have a lot of employees now here at my my plant were young. They're in their 20s. And, you know, when I talk about the radio to them, it sounds like the way my grandmother used to talk to me about her programs from the 1950s, you know, they're like, what do you mean? You mean a radio? They're like a radio. You were on the radio and, you know, like they don't even comprehend. Bit like you can have a radio that you turn on and tune in to something.
00:04:35:14 - 00:04:36:13
Chris Missick: Yeah, it's funny.
00:04:37:12 - 00:04:38:04
Chris Missick: It is.
00:04:38:20 - 00:05:38:27
Chris Missick: But, you know, there's a lot of us and I'm only 40, so I'm not I'm not in my 60s or 70s. But the radio always fascinated me, you know, whether it was long car drives and Prairie Home Companion or quite frankly, the the nerd in me falling asleep to Art Bell and Coast to Coast, like I just loved that stuff. I still do. You know, the industry has changed so much from consolidation, social pressures, podcasts. It's really taken a bite out of that. I know. You know, we've seen that happen with some pretty legendary radio personalities here in Rochester who just because of the nuts and bolts and finances of the radio industry, haven't had their jobs anymore. Were you feeling that kind of pressure at all in terms of, man, I am talented at what I do. People love me, but am I going to get squeezed out of this industry?
00:05:39:09 - 00:06:17:08
Paul Guglielmo: Well, first, you know, we can dive into self-esteem if you want to, because never the people love me thing never, never felt that way. But absolutely that I think that there was at least a 50 percent chance that this is just going to end in me getting called into an office one day and being laid off. You know, I always knew and to be honest with you, in fairness, I knew that for a very long time that wasn't recent because some people have said to me, they've said, you read the writing on the wall recently. And I went and I read the writing on the wall for the last ten years. I mean, I used to tell my mother because my mother
00:06:17:10 - 00:06:46:23
Paul Guglielmo: didn't love that I worked in radio because I went to college and she thought I should be a professional into her radio. And I was wearing a T-shirt to work. And, you know, to her, she's thinking this doesn't seem like something you go to college to do, to go wear a t shirt and and talk about the daily topic. Just didn't compute to her. And I used to tell her I used to say, don't worry, I'm going to get fired one day. It's just a matter of if it's in two days, two weeks, two months, two years or two decades.
00:06:47:03 - 00:06:47:18
Chris Missick: I don't know
00:06:47:20 - 00:07:11:29
Paul Guglielmo: when it's happening, but that's how it ends for like ninety percent of radio people is, you know, fired or laid off, for that matter. And I know I. Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. The writing was definitely on the wall and I always operated knowing there's a chance that I'm in this thing for thirty more years and there's a chance that I am laid off on a day that I don't even see it coming. And it could be tomorrow.
00:07:12:07 - 00:07:45:02
Chris Missick: And the tough part is, I mean, you're sitting there, you've got hours to fill on the air. You build up a sense of intimacy. If you're in one of those shows where there's cohosts and you never know when something you say is not going to be palatable to someone on the outside or they don't know your heart or your intentions, you're just maybe trying to say something funny on the next thing you know, you've got that management meeting so that there has to be a little bit of fear and that has to dictate what happens when you're in the studio. But.
00:07:45:10 - 00:08:50:24
Paul Guglielmo: Oh, yeah, yeah. And the other thing about that, Chris, was, was over the last few years with a growing business, was also being a business owner and then being on the radio and then being on the radio show I was on, which I have so much love for Brother Wease and the brother with show. But let's be honest, it's rated R, right? And so and a lot of times I was looked at to put in that funny line and I am a guy who does find some humor in the the went too far line. Right. The line that just was like, oh my God, you can't say no. And I would I mean I found that funny. Look, you know, I grew up listening to that kind of radio and then I was in that kind of radio and it occurred to me more and more as a our culture changed and B, I became more successful in business. Go and look like this stuff. You know, this these jokes, some of these jokes that I've told, they're not going to be palatable for everybody and that's fine. That's fine. The same way my source is not palatable for everybody. You know, it's good. It's fine. But I started to. Yeah, I did start to think about that, Chris. That's a really good point. I've never really thought about that before.
00:08:51:02 - 00:09:39:14
Chris Missick: The idea of what if I say the thing today that's going to get me canceled, you know? Yeah.You know, I don't know. You probably don't remember this, but I believe we've met and actually we met in Brother Wease's studio years ago. So years ago, shortly after we were really growing our wine business, I forgot one of my salespeople, Tara, her sister worked in the studio and we were invited in and we were tasting wine. And I remember this. Yeah, you know, it was great because we're talking about wines. Everybody seemed to love what we were born. But I remember as soon as you guys went to commercial and it was like ten thirty in the morning, the tequila was already out. But then again, you were up at probably two thirty in the morning. So this was the work day for you?
00:09:40:03 - 00:09:49:03
Paul Guglielmo: Yes, absolutely. I, I was up at two, fifteen a.m. for ten straight years, by the way. That's my USDA inspector going by in the background. Right.
00:09:49:20 - 00:09:50:07
Chris Missick: Welcome.
00:09:52:02 - 00:10:55:26
Paul Guglielmo: But no, I was up I woke up at two a.m. for about ten years to fifteen a.m. but you know, and that sucked. And I was always tired and it was just a life of being there. That's the other thing is people don't realize the actual physical toll that that takes on you. That is not normal. It is not normal to be up at that hour. And I was physically tired all the time and that sucked for family life. But then on top of that, the positive, though, the other thing is what you're pointing out, and that is that by noon the world is at lunch and I'm at happy hour. I mean, I'm ready to roll. And I have and for the first few years of my career in radio, I took advantage of that. I went out to lunch. I wasn't afraid to have a couple of drinks at lunch. I went home. I watch TV and I played video games. And then it kind of occurred to me, oh, boy, I got a lot of time here that I'm wasting doing nothing. And that was some of the impetus for starting the business was realizing like, jeez, I'm spending a lot of hours playing video games throughout the week.
00:10:56:06 - 00:11:18:20
Chris Missick: Well, and I know you have kids now, and that had to be really tough. I imagine some of that overlapped. I mean, you didn't purchase the business you own now until, what, last year? Yeah, I mean, managing. I have a four year old and an eight month old, and I just couldn't imagine how sleep deprived you were considering those those work hours.
00:11:19:17 - 00:12:18:23
Paul Guglielmo: It was it's something that I don't know if when the story of my life is completely over, whether I live another 40 years or four minutes, I don't know if I will be happy and it's a good thing or if it's a bad thing. However, I am pretty operable off of limited sleep. I have no problems getting up in the morning. I woke up this morning at 5:00 and I shoot out of bed like that, you know, and that's something that I consider to be a gift. The radio maybe did give me because of the fact that five a.m. I mean, after ten years of two fifteen a.m., five a.m. feels great to me. And I hope that never goes away, you know, and it gives me an advantage. I do think waking up that early gives me an advantage. Now, granted, I get tired at night, but here's the thing. I don't get tired till nine or 10:00 o'clock at night. Yeah. You know, so it's not like I'm being tired at six p.m. the way I used to be. Nine or ten o'clock is is a healthy bedtime, I think. I don't think that's ridiculously early, so.
00:12:19:00 - 00:12:33:16
Chris Missick: Not at all. No. So a little bit about your background, Paul. You aren't from Rochester originally. And if I recall correctly, when you first came to Rochester, you had illusions that maybe it was like New York City, some big city radio gig that you were getting.
00:12:33:18 - 00:13:09:04
Paul Guglielmo: No, no, not that it was like New York City. I thought it was New York City. I thought Rochester was in the list with Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Rochester, Staten Island. And like the first time I heard that I was moving to Rochester, I thought the thing that you guys hate and that is that it's New York City, you know, up there somewhere is Buffalo. I remember learning that the capitals, Albany. So that's in there somewhere. Yeah. But really, it's just New York City. That's what I knew of New York State when I heard the word Rochester for the first time. Wow.
00:13:10:11 - 00:13:19:02
Chris Missick: You've come to embrace the city, though, and you've explored some really fascinating businesses and folks. Do you still love Rochester?
00:13:19:27 - 00:14:14:22
Paul Guglielmo: I love Rochester, I came here thinking I'd be here for a year. You know, this is considered a quote unquote, medium sized market. So when I came here, it was for radio thinking I do my year or two here. And that's a trajectory a lot of media personalities will take until you do what they call Marea market, which is when you just pick one and stay, which is what I ended up doing. But basically I came here thinking my original plan was one to two years. I was going to spend one year just kind of busting my butt and trying to, you know, do the best I could. And then the second year I would spend trying to find my next job in a major market. And I knew within six to nine months that Rochester could be the market I was going to marry and that the one year mark, I said, you know, we'll be wait six months before I start applying for jobs. I'm really liking Rochester. And then at the 18 month mark, I went, you know, let me wait another six months. And eventually that just became I think I'm I think I'm in Rochester now, like for good, you know.
00:14:15:03 - 00:14:35:16
Chris Missick: And you've really put down roots, especially with Permac. So let's explore how that happened. A lot of people who look at entrepreneurs say, I would love to be there. I don't know the first step to take because you took literally your grandfather's recipe and turned it into a flourishing business.
00:14:36:05 - 00:15:32:17
Paul Guglielmo: Yeah, it sounds it sounds good when you think about it like it sounds. I'll tell you the truth, ma'am. I do sometimes think about where we are. And I walk through this plant and I'll look at things. Yeah. And I and I, I remember we got that and we when we bought that and when we bought that and these employees and they know what to do and sometimes I go. Holy cow. You know, sometimes it manifests itself in pride, you know, which is what we're talking about now. Sometimes it manifests itself, quite frankly, in imposter syndrome. That does happen to me sometimes, which is another thing that I learn happens to entrepreneurs is sometimes that imposter syndrome. But the pride when it manifests itself in pride. I can't explain it, I don't know, it's it's what I what I will say is it is not something that happens like that. It doesn't just
00:15:32:19 - 00:15:36:15
Chris Missick: you don't just do it all at once. You have to take that first step.
00:15:36:17 - 00:16:53:08
Paul Guglielmo: And what you just said the first step was, believe it or not, getting a job before I started a business. I got a job because I didn't have any money because that was we skipped over that part. When you talk about radio, is you're either one of the five percent of people who make a ton of money in radio or you're one of the ninety five percent people who are severely underpaid in radio. And I was of the ninety five percent, so. I didn't have any money, I didn't have the money to start a business, so the very first step I took was I got a job. I started bartending on Friday nights and I was the world's worst bartender. They put me with a real bartender. And if you ordered anything other than beer or wine, I would go get the other bartender and say, you have a customer over there. They need something called a martini. I don't know what that is. I'm going to go over here and pour beers. I was bad anyway. I worked at that job for a year, drove that was in Webster. I drove down to 50 to where I lived in Fairport, in my father in law's basement at the time. And I put whatever tip money I had into the Bank of America ATM and built up a seven thousand dollar account over the course of a year. And I started the business with that. So the first step was just I need a little money. That was a.
00:16:54:10 - 00:17:58:27
Chris Missick: Mm hmm. You know, a couple other things that struck me about that, and then I really want to get into kind of some of your family background and some of your Italian heritage. When you purchased this business, you had been building a brand and so you had found a Copac who was making your recipe. You were designing the labels. You were, you know, pounding the pavement, going to festivals. But when you finally were able to purchase this business, everything came down right as covid was starting. I mean, I think about that. So from an entrepreneurial perspective, you're right. Like there's pride, there's imposter syndrome. There's also the fear that all of these folks, you know, their paycheck depends on whether or not I can run this business. Well, Tony, I mean, the pressure that you feel there, you are trying to keep some of the employees. I think some of them even came on as investors with you. I mean, the weight of what that March a year ago must have put on your shoulders. You care to share any of that?
00:17:59:28 - 00:21:31:25
Paul Guglielmo: Yeah, the timing was weird, it was the first conversation I ever had and just to kind of back up a little bit, so yeah, I had six years in of building this brand of Gagliano's of this pasta sauce line where I worked with compactors. Then I made the decision that I was 100 percent positive. I wanted to leave radio and that was a big decision. And when I made that decision, it was, OK, Paul, you want to leave radio? What do you want to do next? And I'm looking at my brand and I'm going, jeez, one of my options would be to try to just run with this brand and see if I can grow it. And quite frankly, that requires more money than I had to try to grow. Your brand nationally or even regionally, for that matter, is is a six to seven figure thing. Yeah. And I had you know, I had some money, but I didn't quite have that money to take a risk with. So in January of twenty twenty, so it's before we really knew the pandemic was going to hit us because remember now we look back coronavirus was here at that point, but we didn't know we were going to have this happen yet. In January, I made up an excuse to come out to the Copac facility in Burgen called Permac, where I had had my sauce made years ago. I had since moved on to a slightly larger capacitor, but I still had some specialty runs done in Burgen. Yeah, I made up an excuse because the previous owner of this business used to get here at like four thirty in the morning, like I said, man, four thirty in the morning to some people sounds crazy to me. I'm like great. He's skittered for thirty and he didn't have anyone here till about five, five thirty. So I made up an excuse that I needed to be there at four thirty that morning to pick something up, whatever. And so I knew I was going to get him alone and then I just asked him what his plan was. And there had been some, some, maybe some signs prior to that, you know, just little nuances, just sort of like poly. My back hurts, you know what I'm going to do, you know? And so I'm just wondering, like, is he dropping hints on purpose or does he say this to everybody? So I asked him what his plan was. He immediately picked up on what he was on, what I was asking him. And basically it was he said I would I would hear an offer on this business. And I drove away very excited. But the thing I remember about that also was I was very excited, but I was very conscious of not getting overly excited because I knew that, you know, depending on the price tag, it might be unrealistic. And so I was very lucky that the gentleman I bought the business from had a realistic price tag. I mean, when you when you opened up the books and you took a look at what was on the books, what the asset list looked like, it it was the right price tag. I mean, he wasn't trying to gouge me and it was fair. So I had very, very, very excited at that point. But you're still talking about February, so it's still pre pandemic. And then a really weird thing happened, and that is the pandemic hit and food manufacturing. I actually did this, it started to go up, right? It became in demand and I started to become fearful for a brief period of time that he was actually going to say, hey, my business is worth more than it used to be worth now because demand has skyrocketed. But he didn't do that. He didn't do that. He was a man of principle. And he said, we agreed on a price and that's the price. And and so. That was that was it, so the pandemic hit in the middle of this deal, the deal started before and ended after the pandemic, really, really weird timing, though
00:21:32:24 - 00:21:52:12
Chris Missick: it was. And I remember going into our grocery stores and and everything, just being wiped out, wiped off the shelves, you know, cans of store brand pasta sauce. You were limited to a single can purchase. And did that impact your raw materials? Were you able to get supplies?
00:21:52:28 - 00:24:14:27
Paul Guglielmo: Well, big time. Big time. And it was actually yes. Still to this day, there are raw materials that are harder to find or or at your, you know, some stuff you can get, some stuff you just can't get and then other stuff you can get. But the lead times are very long and they require some very you know, manufacturing is there is you have to have like seven or eight things in line. In order to do a job, you have to set up a job and do a job. And any one of those seven or eight things falls, falls through and all of a sudden you can't do that job anymore. And so planning that far ahead can be difficult. We're we're only planning solid clode schedules two to three weeks ahead in this business because we have to keep some versatility. The pandemic early on, moments of the pandemic and the increase in demand on the one hand and it's really interesting we're talking about this, Chris, because literally yesterday I had the opportunity and this interview was made public as well. But I got to talk to Stephanie Destry about this, who is like the LeBron James of Sasko Packing in Rochester, New York. So I was really encouraged to see that she felt the same way I felt. And really what it was, is there was this demand and there was this call from your the people who are buying your product, your distributors. I mean, I had a call from my single largest client saying, what? Do you have an inventory? My answer was a couple of thousand cases. His response was, I'll take it all. Now, on the one hand, you're thinking, wow, that's amazing. On the other hand, think about having literally zero wine. You think about having literally zero inventory. All of a sudden you're going, oh, my God, yeah. Oh, my God, that's great. But also, like, oh, my God, I just went from having inventory to having literally zero. So I was like that one phone call. I was immediately depleted down to nothing. OK, so there's that. And that's good. And then the bad is then that happens. But then at the same time you're saying, great, it's in demand. People want it. It's it's through the roof. I go to the grocery store and it can't be kept on the shelf. You feel this, you feel the business side of you feels an opportunity, right. To keep the shelves stocked. The the personal side of you feels an obligation to feel that to keep that shelf stocked, because people at that point were panicking. They wanted pantry items, they needed shelf stable things.
00:24:15:25 - 00:24:42:12
Paul Guglielmo: And then you're calling the people you call to make your product, your glass distributor, your cap distributor, your ingredient distributors. And you're saying, I need my materials. And they're going, oh, yeah, sorry, we don't have any of that right now. And you're going, no. The nightmare. Yeah, you know, it'd be like if the world said, Chris, we need you to make all the world's wine tomorrow. Also, you don't have any grapes.
00:24:42:16 - 00:26:25:26
Chris Missick: Exactly. Well, you know, I've run into this myself. We launched a canned wine line called Can Do and done really well with it. So there's a two fold problem with that, though, when the canned wine is largely being consumed on premise and at events and there is none of that going on, you're stuck with this huge inventory. But as we come out of that now, I can't find can't I mean, getting access to enough of the raw material and oh, by the way, if you want them, the price is now almost double what it was. So there's going to be, you know, major impacts to those of us who are trying to plan our businesses moving forward. This is going to be an interesting quandary to work through with regards to the raw materials, we need to grow grapes and, you know, it's interesting just thinking about how this is going to shake out in the future. It goes back to what we were saying. You know, you can you can sell all of your product, but then if you can't get those raw materials that are necessary, how are you going to keep your people working? So it's I'll tell you, I think that the sauce is fantastic, though.And I had known that you were going to be launching the kind of your own larger venture, because I heard the day that you were going to leave the radio. I think Bob Lansberry had Hadrien I was driving into the winery and you were talking about it. He he didn't seem that sure that it was a good idea. But he's in that five percent, I think, of radio personalities. And you saw where this could go. I do have some with me right here. I'll just throw it up and we'll have some video. But the picture on there, I think tells a good part of the story.
00:26:26:07 - 00:27:13:09
Chris Missick: So the picture is you as a as a kid and your grandfather, Pete. I love it. He's a man after my own heart wearing flannel. My wife asked me what my favorite color was and I always say plaid. But can you share that story? Because one of the things I like to focus on on this show is what makes a good life. How do we live our best version of ourselves? We all have natural abilities and talents. Oftentimes we wish we had more. So the show's not just about viticulture and growing grapes. It's about growing a life and anchoring that in place and family and memories. So if you could just share a little bit about where this came from, how you learned to make sauce and a little bit about your grandfather,
00:27:14:03 - 00:27:37:09
Paul Guglielmo: it was it was a weekly escape. It was Sunday mornings at my grandfather's house. He was up early. He had the sauce on right away. And no matter what time I got there, it seemed he already had the sauce on the stove. You know, later in life, when I wanted to learn how to make it, I tried to get there as early as I could so I could see him. And I finally got there early enough, you know, and it almost felt like he was trying to beat me. Like, if I was coming at six,
00:27:37:11 - 00:30:04:11
Chris Missick: he was going to get the sauce on at five thirty. You know, it was just I loved it. I loved going to my grandpa's on Sundays. We used to eat around twelve thirty. There was times in my teenage, teenage and college years where, you know, waking up on Sunday at noon was was tough because, you know, Saturday night, I may not have been in bed till 4am and I was waking up not feeling good, if you know what I'm saying. A little too much canned wine maybe. And that that was there was some time like that, but there was way more time where I wanted to get there as early as I could because there was just this thing I loved about it. There was this sitting around the table. There was solving the world's problems. Right? There was there was everyone everyone knows my family and my grandfather. And it was just everyone who knows what are the problems going on in the world. And here's how I would fix them. You know, it's like every every old Italian guy thinks he knows everything, right? And then it all ended. And then all the cousins would come over and it all ended in this giant meal. And I just found a thrill in that. And I found a thrill in the fact that as often as possible, a lot of those ingredients were coming right out of his backyard. Yeah. He was literally going out to the garden and picking a handful of basil and throwing it directly into a kettle. And I just thought that was the coolest thing. And I, I still can't put my finger on what it is about that specific thing that I still find cool. But to this day, Chris, if I'm making sauce on a Sunday and I go out to my garden in September and grab a handful of basil and throw it into that kettle, I get this pang of, like, adrenaline. I just think is the I just I just feel like that is awesome. Yeah. Everything about it, it just it gave me all the feels right. I just loved it. And when I moved to Rochester, I missed it dearly. I had a tremendous amount of homesickness for that Sunday morning thing and that was what it was. It's that's exactly how the actual sausage business started, was me and my little apartment on East Avenue on Sundays making sauce by myself because it made me feel like I was at home. And every other weekend I would drive home, every other weekend I would stay in Rochester. I didn't have any friends at that time. I'm up to two friends now. One is married into being my friend, the other one I literally created. So that's, you know, anyway, that's really how it started was me then on Sundays here in Rochester making it SOSIN
00:30:04:20 - 00:30:38:10
Paul Guglielmo: And then one of the things I fell in love with Rochester was support for entrepreneurship, artists doing things I loved at the Rochester Public Market, I just thought that was the coolest thing in the world. My parents would visit and I would bring them down to that market. My grandfather visited a couple of times. I would bring him down to that market and there were people down there selling bottled jelly and jam. And I just that was really the first little light bulbs for me was like, wow, this is the type of city where I could can that source bring that down here? People might pay me for that source. You never know.
00:30:38:12 - 00:31:25:16
Chris Missick: Yeah, I think that what you speak of, you know, in terms of going into the garden excuse me, and grabbing some herbs or tomatoes, you're growing. I feel it, too. And actually, I, I really got into making wine because I was into gardening and there's something primal about it. You know, it grounds us to where we are. You are recognizing the work that you put into the soil to grow, that it's something, you know, even if you're not thinking about it, that a hundred generations before you have done. And so I think subconsciously, it just it ties us to the human experience. Is a lot of the the produce then sourced from Rochester or the best degree possible or
00:31:25:29 - 00:32:01:03
Paul Guglielmo: to the best degree possible? It depends. I mean, we're making at this point, we're making a couple hundred items. Yes. We make more than just my stuff. Yep. So you're talking about some things that don't grow around here ever. So there are some cases where. No, it's just impossible. I mean, we buy from local distributors. Yep. But to the to the best extent we can get local stuff. Yes. But it's not as good as it could be. Not as good as it should be or as I wish it would be as far as buying produce locally. But I will say when it's available, I always gobble it off. Yeah, I think it's cool. It's, it is hard in these kind of more northern climates.
00:32:01:05 - 00:32:34:04
Chris Missick: So this episode will air a little bit later on. But here we are in mid to late April and there's snow on the ground today. I, I before I came into the studio, I ran downstairs to the basement where I had all the seeds that I've started and I had almost my tomatoes in the ground two weeks ago when we had this beautiful run of 70, almost 80 degree weather. And I was just so thankful I didn't. But I'm getting worried, Paul, because I see some of those blossoms starting to form of those tomatoes. So we've got to be able to act quick.
00:32:36:01 - 00:32:49:29
Paul Guglielmo: I always I always wait until the meteorologist give us that give that they will do it. They'll do it like early to mid-May. They'll give you the all clear to plant your tomatoes. Yeah, I always wait for that. Stacey Penskin tweet that says Plant your tomatoes.
00:32:51:03 - 00:33:08:29
Chris Missick: So I'm from California originally and I used to start my seeds in January. They'd be outdoors. I'd have tomatoes by March, April, and they'd go all the way until I remember the very last day of picking a tomato. Kind of my longest season was Thanksgiving. So. Oh, my
00:33:09:11 - 00:33:14:21
Paul Guglielmo: God, that is a dream come true. That's amazing. \So that's great.
00:33:14:23 - 00:34:14:11
Chris Missick: Yeah. So, you know, that is but there is something about the community here and there's something also for me just sort of talking about wine a little bit. There is almost something more fulfilling knowing the challenges we face in and overcoming those. Now, aside from your grandfather's Italian heritage, you spent your eleventh grade year in Italy, correct? Yeah. And I know how it is when you travel, when you're younger, you look back and you say, man, I wish I would have actually spent time studying this or watching that. But how formative was that? Because there is something very different about the lifestyle of folks in Europe, Italy, France. My wife is from France and I met her there. Did that kind of build on this family experience that was important to you? Did it help slow your your day down because it moves at a different pace at times.
00:34:15:18 - 00:34:51:28
Paul Guglielmo: Yeah, my my grandpa was a big part of the reason I went to Italy, not that he specifically encouraged going to Italy, but he was a big part of it in the sense that he was so proud of his Italian culture that I wanted a piece of that. And I wanted to see, like, he's so proud of this Italian heritage. I want to immerse myself in it fully and really be able to understand it. And so that was a big part of the original reason. I just wanted to immerse myself in that culture. Now, actually, physically being there was amazing because I had a couple of realizations while I was there.
00:34:52:00 - 00:37:15:16
Paul Guglielmo: First of all, it is to this day been the single most informative. You're of my life because being forced to go into an embrace other cultures, I'm also I'm living with host families, so I'm seeing different family dynamics. I'm understanding how people live their lives. It was so great because it gave me a it gave me an open mindedness that I've never lost to different people live their lives in different ways. And that's OK. Yeah, that's OK. One thing I will say is that one thing that it kind of made me so first of all, some things that people find surprising is I remember being there and having tomato sauce and having pasta sauce and thinking to myself, this is good. Yeah, I actually prefer my grandpa, you \know. And so people just assume the pasta, the sauce, the pizza, it's all got to be better. And then everyone goes on vacation for a week to Italy and they come back and they go, it's so much better. Oh, my God, the food is so much better. Well, OK. Yes. If you go to to cities and you eat at five star restaurants, the food's amazing, of course, the way it would be in every five star restaurant in any in America as well. But I was living with families and I was having meat and potatoes for dinner and I was having leftovers from yesterday for dinner. And so I was gaining a perspective that these people are just people living their lives, caring for their families, making a living, working and living for the weekend, you know, and watching soccer the way we watch football. And it gave me this acceptance because, you know, obviously in in our country and well in the whole world, there's prejudice that exists. There's racism that exists. And it just gave me this this complete wash of any of that, because I'm just going people are just people. And for the most part, we are all doing the same thing every day. We're waking up, we're taking care of our families. We're going to work. We're eating lunch and dinner, you know, I mean it. Let me see that. And I loved it for that. I just loved that. It gave me that being there for a full year. Let me do it as not a tourist. But I truly lived there. Yeah, I truly lived. There was such a great experience. I didn't get a wife, though, like I messed up there.
00:37:15:24 - 00:37:19:13
Chris Missick: Well, you would have been pretty young. I was older than you were, so that's true.
00:37:20:10 - 00:37:22:03
Paul Guglielmo: Did you find that? How long were you there?
00:37:22:05 - 00:39:26:09
Chris Missick: So actually the very first time I was there was about three months. When I was in law school, I had a professor and he was like, your classic stodgy old professor, though he wasn't that old, he was just strict. And he said, the rest of your life is going to be miserable. He said about a third of you might fail out of law school. It's California, so only half of you might pass the bar. And if or when you're actually a lawyer, you're going to slog it out for thirty to thirty five more years. You've got one chance to make one good decision, and that's to attend the Summer Abroad program. I run in Toulouse, France. And so I thought, you know, he's a wise man. I'll give it a try. And I kind of buffered that summer school with some extra time because I loved wine and I'd be in France. Why? Why not? So my wife in the last ten days at an Irish pub and she was practicing her English and I was enjoying a pint of Guinness. And I realized I called my mom that night, I said, this is the woman I'm going to marry. And so, you know, we spent time and I ended up doing that summer abroad program again the next year. And so I've been back and forth. I mean, cumulatively months and months and months, probably close to a year, never more than three months at a time. But, you know, there's someone else I interviewed who is a biographer of a famous philosopher, and this philosopher was known for saying travel narrows the mind, not that we shouldn't travel, but sort of like what you describe, Paul. People will go to a place for a week. It'll be a whirlwind. They'll come back and they think they know a place. And in that sense, it can narrow the mind because if culture, a very simple understanding of it is the way we do things around here, you don't really get that sense. You need to spend time and you almost need that sort of laconic period with a family, whether it's sharing some prosciutto or watching Eurovision, you know.
00:39:26:23 - 00:39:28:27
Chris Missick: If so, yeah. Or yeah.
00:39:28:29 - 00:40:10:17
Paul Guglielmo: I mean, really just watching TV. Like, what about a Tuesday when there's literally just nothing to do in a small town in Italy. Right. Like like people go for a week and they go to Rome and every night is Saturday night and they're drinking every night and eating every night and tourists. OK, what if you had to wake up and go to school tomorrow? Yeah. You know, I mean, you get the opportunity to see what it's actually like to live life in Italy. And and it and it was it was good. But don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was bad, but it was very normal. It was very normal. People were just living normal lives. Teenagers were running around trying to figure out how to get their hands on alcohol the exact same way we were back at my high school.
00:40:10:19 - 00:40:14:28
Chris Missick: You know, a little easier, though, I think if the drinking age was 16,
00:40:15:00 - 00:40:44:17
Paul Guglielmo: it was let me tell you, Chris, here's in the town I lived in in Italy in 1999. This is the year I was there. There was technically no drinking age. It was the discretion of the person selling. So all you had to do was convincingly tell them that you were buying this because your mother said she needed this. Your mother sent you to buy this limoncello and you need four bottles of it. And for the most part, they would just go OK, and they would sell it well.
00:40:44:20 - 00:41:09:04
Chris Missick: And they also probably knew that drinking four bottles of Limoncello is a punishment in and of itself. So right. When you got into deciding this was going to be a serious venture, you tapped a resource in the Finger Lakes that has been invaluable for the wine industry and food production in general. I'd love to hear your experience with Cornell.
00:41:10:24 - 00:43:53:11
Paul Guglielmo: Oh, my God, Cornell has been awesome to Cornell to this day is awesome, Cornell, for anyone who doesn't know, Cornell has a food science department. They've got the they call it the Food Venture Center, and it's actually based in Geneva. And it's it's a Department of Food scientists who work as what we call a process authority. And what process authority means is to kind of put this in plain language. You have a recipe for pasta sauce. And the number one thing that anyone cares about is that you're producing it safely. Nobody cares from a from a governmental standpoint or a Cornell standpoint. They don't care if it tastes good. They don't care what your marketing is. They only care. Are you putting a safe product on the store shelves. So in order to do that, you need to find a process authority and a process authority will issue something called a scheduled process. And a schedule process, simply put, is a very strict. And detailed recipe, that's all it really is, and it will have something called critical factors on it, and the critical factors will tell you if you follow these two, three, four steps. And you and you log that you keep paper records of these steps every time you make your source, you are producing safe product. And so for me, it's did you cook your source to one ninety five? Did you hold it at one ninety five or six minutes? Did you test the pH, the acidity? And when you tested the acidity, was it under four point two and did you tilt or invert your jars for two minutes to be sure to pasteurize the bottom of the lids. Those are my four. Yeah. They sign off on a schedule process and send it to me. And they tell me, keep records that you're doing those four things, every batch, and we give you our stamp of approval. Now, that sounds simple and straightforward, but we're Cornell comes into play is it is simple and straightforward for pasta sauce. But now let's say you're making chimichurri. Let's say you're making chicken wing. Then let's say you're making vegan probiotic powder. Let's say you're making you know, there's I don't know I don't know these things. I'm not too familiar with these products, so I don't know how to jar them safely. That's where Cornell comes in. I can get somebody to come to me to say, hey, can you bottle this? Well, we're with the example of Chimichurri. Can you bottle this chimichurri? And I'll say, sure. And then I'll call Cornell and I'll talk to one of them and I'll say, I've got a client asking me to bottle Chimichurri, can I do this? And how do I do this safely? And that's a resource they provide and you pay for it, but you don't pay as much as you would think you pay. It's not thousands and thousands of dollars. It's usually under one hundred dollars per recipe to get their stamp of approval on a recipe which is extremely fair. Extremely fair.
00:43:54:01 - 00:44:08:09
Chris Missick: Yeah, it's it's interesting because when you first start talking about making pasta sauce, the percent of hydrogen ions or the age or all of these chemistry related issues probably weren't even in your mind.
00:44:09:13 - 00:45:02:18
Paul Guglielmo: No. In fact, speaking of being an exchange student, I missed eleventh grade. Eleventh grade at my high school was when chemistry was mandatory. I went to Italy for eleventh grade. That counted as all my eleventh grade credit. So I never took chemistry in my life. I'm one of the few people who graduated high school without their mandatory chemistry credit because I had one of the very few things that can override needing that chemistry credit. And that was I had been an exchange student, so I never took chemistry in my life. And suddenly I'm doing chemistry. But that's where back to your point to Cornell comes in when I don't understand, I can call Cornell and they they will tell me. I mean, those are scientists. Yep. Who and they and by the way, here's the thing about them. They love their jobs. I that's what's cool. Right? There is one particular scientist at Cornell named Shannon who who I work with all the time, Shannon Priscella.
00:45:02:26 - 00:45:27:22
Paul Guglielmo: And she and I recently had a phone conversation about local agriculture and the passion that she has for local agriculture is so impressive. And I find that with all of them. Yeah, they are so passionate about this region that they just want to encourage it as much as they can. And when you go to them saying, I want to bottle this new product here in the Finger Lakes region, they they love that. They love it.
00:45:27:24 - 00:46:07:11
Chris Missick: They absolutely do. Yeah. So I did sit through chemistry in high school, but I might as well not have I ended up taking chemistry at Finger Lakes Community College when I realized I needed to straighten some of these things out in my own head. So we share that. I was kind of still talking about the sauc. And incidentally, you know what we're planning on doing? We've done a lot of changes at our winery. One of the things we're going to be doing is launching some flatbreads. We're going to be using your sauce. So it's so nice, you know, order that you'll be able to make it yourself at home and get your hands on some of this great stuff.
00:46:07:29 - 00:46:11:19
Paul Guglielmo: There's a Chris, can I just mention something real quick? Did you see the inspector go by?
00:46:11:21 - 00:46:12:18
Chris Missick: Yep. Yep.
00:46:13:01 - 00:46:17:17
Paul Guglielmo: That is a health inspector who just took a smoke break. I just want to point out that
00:46:20:22 - 00:46:22:01
Chris Missick: the world is filled with irony.
00:46:22:29 - 00:46:47:16
Paul Guglielmo: Yes. Yes. And by the way, I just wanted to be known. I literally like I have a great relationship with him because in our business, like, you get Inspector and you get them for a few months. So you do build rapport and you build a relationship. And like I you know, that wasn't I feel bad because people are going to be like, what a what what a jerk Paulie is. But like I've said that to his face before and he knows that he's like, I know, I know I'm the worst. So, you know,
00:46:48:12 - 00:47:21:29
Chris Missick: when you talk about wine and because there is alcohol, a lot of the food safety issues are taken care of when you're over eight percent. Alcohol doesn't mean we're not incredibly clean and focused. In fact, I. I steam my tank. So it's not just sanitizer sterilized. So we work with Department of AG and Markets. They do inspections. And it's always funny because I'm also very cautious about fruit flies. It's one of kind of my pet peeves. But it is funny. They always like to come during harvest and there's always a fruit fly. You're working with wine grapes? Yeah, I got some fruit flies around.
00:47:22:01 - 00:47:28:02
Chris Missick: I, I know everyone in the world who's making wine is dealing with this. It's going to be fun. Yeah.
00:47:29:10 - 00:48:07:10
Paul Guglielmo: You know, the Ags and Markets, it's ironic you would bring them up. They were here yesterday. I had my my random drop in yesterday. Okay. And I've actually found them to be OK. I found them for the most part to be great to work with, like they're good people. You're right. I mean, you're you're your winery. You're going to have fruit flies, right? We're going to have some soft splatter on the side of a cattle. Yeah, right. These are not things that are perfect in a perfect world, you don't have four live in a perfect world, we don't have some splatter on the side of our cattle and these guys are not going to kill me over my splatter on the side. They're going to shine their flashlights. They're going to say, yeah, just try to get that cleaned up when you get a chance, you know, and I've always found that to be very fair.
00:48:07:12 - 00:48:15:26
Chris Missick: Yeah, well, and they get to check the box to prove they were there, you know, and. Yeah, and I've heard some horror stories from those inspectors of what they have to endure.
00:48:15:28 - 00:49:11:18
Paul Guglielmo: So, dude, I mean, I think here's a thing, right? I think when they walk into a facility where they see you as the owner are going the extra step to sterilize your tanks, they see us. You know, a lot of things we do. We're working on a are you familiar with SQF? SQF certification. It's a it's a manufacturing certification. That's that's sort of an extra level, sort of like you're voluntarily taking this extra level. So our paperwork is like on steroids. Right. We record everything that happens here far more than we're required. So typically when they see that they're going to forgive a little splatter on the side of the cattle because they're like, obviously this place is doing a pretty good job. And I'm sure that's how they feel with you, too. But then you do you hear some stories. They walk into stuff where like there I mean, I've been told stories about like they walk in and they're like live butchering an animal or something in the back of a restaurant. And it's like you don't have any license to do that here.
00:49:11:28 - 00:49:26:26
Chris Missick: Think it becomes almost like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm or something? You know, one of the things that stands out when you're looking at the shelf with your product is the artwork. Is there a story behind that friend/ family? Yeah.
00:49:27:21 - 00:51:56:12
Paul Guglielmo: Yeah, let's talk a little hardcore marketing, so. About four or five months before we launched, we were scrambling, we needed a brand I originally didn't want to call Guglielmo's because I just knew that I was named after my grandpa, that to this day it says Guglielmo. And that's because his name, my name happens to be Guglielmo, but his nameis on it. That's how I think of it. Everyone thinks of it as Pauli's name is on there. But I think of it as my whose name is on there. So I wanted Guglielmo, but I was getting nervous about that because I knew most people would think, look at this guy, put his own name on this thing, like, who does he think he is? So we went I went to to Wegmans and I stood in that aisle and I was like, any Italian you've ever met, never bought a jar of sauce in my life. Why would I make my own? So I was really unfamiliar with just how many options there were. It was very intimidating. My wife was with me. We kind of you know, my initial reaction was, well, I give up. We can't stand out in this crowd. You know, there's too many sauces. We thought of it this way, she works for an advertising agency, she works at Dixon Schwabl at the time, obviously I worked in radio and I was tasked often with writing commercials. And one of the sort of creative writing, one on one when it comes to writing commercials is don't sell the thing, sell the emotion you're going to feel while you're using the thing. So don't sell the car. Don't sell the plastic or the whatever. The aluminum panels, the wheels, the tires, the steering wheel, the radio, don't sell the stuff. Sell the emotion of driving down the road with the windows open in the middle of summer in a brand new car. Sell the emotion, not the thing. And everybody on that shelf was selling the thing. Everybody on the shelf was selling cheap or gourmet. Those are the only two messages. It was either ninety nine cents for this bottle of sauce. Hey, look, five, four, five. Are you kidding me? Ninety nine cents or eight. Ninety nine. Gourmet Chef so-and-so. Best sauce you'll ever have in your life. Nobody was just saying, you know what, we're not cheap. We're not gourmet emotion. We are your grandfather's house on a Sunday afternoon. So we said maybe there's room here for an extra play, and that was really the impotence was was that it was that light bulb moment of everyone here is being a little too sales.
00:51:56:29 - 00:53:26:03
Paul Guglielmo: Let's not be "salesy". Let's just play the emotion. So the actual branding I went to because of Ryan and her job at Dick's in trouble. I had access to their graphic designer, Lauren Dickson, and Mike Schobel gave him his their blessing. His name is Marshall Staff to work freelance to create our label and. I went to him and I said I wanted to be I think my original description was something like I want it to be like a children's book. I'm thinking Grandpa and Paul. But Paul's got to be a little kid because Paul was cute when he was a little kid, not so much in his 30s. Let's do Grampa and Paul picking tomatoes, but it looks like a children's book. And he came back and he said, OK. And he gave me a rendition of what looks a lot like our label today. But then he also gave me the second thing where he said, or you could go for the more hip, trendy look. And he also sent me this thing that had very sharp graphics in it. It called itself Roc'n Roma, right. Roc for Rochester, Roma, because we use Roma tomatoes, rock and Roma sauce. And it was very sharp and hip and trendy. And for a brief moment I considered that thinking, but it just wasn't genuine and it wasn't emotional. So we went on a family vacation in July of 2014. This is just about a month before we launch our business. It is go time. I mean, I need to get these labels printed right now because this business is launching like next year. And I just did a family vote and it was just unanimous.
00:53:26:05 - 00:53:43:20
Paul Guglielmo: It was like, no, no, you got to go with children's book animation. That's the cute look, not this rock and Roma thing. This is emotion is the way to go with this. And so we did. And thank God we did. Because, you know, I hear that a lot, Chris. I hear a lot of people who say, hey, the label really stood out to.
00:53:44:29 - 00:54:05:06
Chris Missick: It's excellent and what I love about kind of how you share that is it speaks to the importance of the authenticity of the product. It's something that drew you in emotionally. It tells a story. I think it's great. And there's a bunch of different renditions based on the different sources. Really great job.
00:54:06:18 - 00:54:21:15
Paul Guglielmo: Thank you, I really appreciate. I'm really proud of our branding. You know, I'll tell you the truth, companies do they rebrand, they look at their logos, they we've, in seven years. It's green. It's only been seven years. But in seven years, I've never even considered changing our branding. I think it's spot on.
00:54:22:15 - 00:55:09:21
Chris Missick: So I'm going through that right now, we we are in the midst of changing our family winery name and moving it to kind of an eponymous designation, calling it Missick Cellars. And it was in part because we had bought a winery that existed and we kept the name No. One in our family's Italian. So I didn't have any family heritage to stand on. And, you know, having kids changes your perspective on where you want that business to be in a generation or twoor three. And so it was about building a family legacy. So I'm in the midst of where you were years ago, trying to refashion everything to to reallyjust say, this is us, this is me. This is what we're trying to do. And this is this is what we make. This is our life's work.
00:55:10:27 - 00:55:16:04
Paul Guglielmo: Have you landed on anything yet? I mean, are you there or are you still truly in the brainstormers? No. So where are you?
00:55:16:06 - 00:55:56:24
Chris Missick: We've got a new logo will be announcing very, very shortly. So we're excited about it. So congrats. So kind of final thing and then we'll let you go. You also do Copaken not just for what you make your sauce, but you help build other brands as well. And what I think is really cool is people who have an idea and a recipe can start really small, I think like as few as 20 cases and they can grow with you. I'd love to hear about some of the brands or products, ideas people come to you with and dreams you've helped kind of come to fruition.
00:55:58:08 - 00:58:09:24
Paul Guglielmo: I I love doing that so much, I love when somebody is in here and it's new to them because I do. I hear from a couple different types of client and some clients are well-established. You know, they've already got plenty of volume and they're looking for a capacitor. And that's great for business. I mean, sure, of course, those are conversations that I like having, but there's still something so special about that person who doesn't know anything about this business. They just know they've got this recipe and they want to do it because their mother or their grandmother showed them how to do it. And I love the opportunity to sit with people and help them bring that to life. To walk them through the steps to hold their hand through the steps, I just love that I love just being on the emails as things like nutrition panels are being created, barcodes are being assigned like I just love \that stuff because I remember the feeling the first time I got a barcode, I took a picture of myself with the computer screen, with the barcode on the computer screen, like I got a barcode, you know, so I know how exciting that can be because you get a barcode and you're like, oh, my God, I'm a professional now. I can be scanned and I love that. You know, what it is, is the first time I ever felt that it was so exciting to me that now when I see other people feel for the first time, I get a little a little bit of that back. But I get to feel it again for the first time when someone's excited or just imagined. Just the idea of seeing a nutrition panel for one of the recipes that you created. I mean, like, where are you ever going to get that? And all of a sudden I get to email to be people and be like, look, here's what we came up with. Yeah. And I will say that that can sometimes be funny because sometimes people are kind of shocked at the sodium like in their products, you know. So there are times where that sometimes. Yeah, I mean, I'm getting off track, but there are some times where that can get a little like almost controversial, where people are like, wait a minute, I had no idea. What are you talking about, sugar? And I'm like, yeah, you remember when we added sugar, like you had to disclose that, you know? So like, sometimes it goes in that direction. But it's funny, you know, it's fun. And I love that that stuff. Yeah.
00:58:10:24 - 00:58:18:16
Chris Missick: Yeah. Well, you're making dreams come true, Paul. You're living your dream. I want to thank you for being on the show. Any final word.
00:58:18:18 - 00:58:28:19
Paul Guglielmo: Thank you so much for having me. But we missed one huge. You deciding to not be a lawyer anymore? Yeah. Have you talked in length about
00:58:29:19 - 00:58:31:25
Chris Missick: at times generally just in the tasting room.
00:58:32:29 - 00:58:33:14
Paul Guglielmo: All right.
00:58:33:16 - 00:58:34:25
Chris Missick: I'd be happy to share that.
00:58:35:15 - 00:58:48:19
Paul Guglielmo: So give me there's two moments that I'm dying to know about is the light bulb moment where you said I really probably should. And then the moment where you actually do. Right, because probably there was some time in between the two.
00:58:48:24 - 01:02:15:05
Chris Missick: There was, you know, my my love of wine came about right around when I was 21 years old. I was living in Sacramento, going to college, and I went out to Napa. And just that sort of tasting wine, being outside, seeing the agriculture around, being with friends like that was the moment that told me I really wanted to learn more about wine. I didn't think about anything with regard to the industry at that point. A couple of years later, I end up as an Army reservist. I'm deployed and I come home from deployment and I had it good I'm not saying I had PTSD or anything, but any time anyone's deployed, you come back and you feel disconnected and so you work through things. There's this concept called Biophilia where to help you connect. Oftentimes, the best thing to do is to start growing things. So I found myself around 2005, 2006, just becoming addicted to growing things. Huge backyard garden. And that coincided with, hey, I have all of these credit card points. I cashed them in and got an Amazon gift card and got a home winemaking kit. So I'm doing this in my spare time while I'm in law school, because when I come back from deployment, I went to law school and I was on track to be a lawyer. So I discovered my passion a little bit later in the midst of pursuing what I thought I'd always wanted to do, which was, you know, become an attorney. So I graduate from law school and passed the bar. I start practicing and although I worked with amazing people, they're still mentors and people I consider salt of the Earth.... It was a grind. This was 2009. I went into law to become a bankruptcy lawyer because my family had been through bankruptcy when I was young and I had seen the hardship that that caused. But how important that was. So I always figured I'll just go and I'll become a bankruptcy lawyer and I'll help people in financial distress. So it just it turned out that I ended up becoming a creditors attorney. I had a great job offer and I took it. So I was working for the banks in the middle of the financial crisis. And though it wasn't consumer credit, these were businesses that were failing. We were in Chapter 11, Chapter 11 cases. I just felt like I wasn't watching people get a fresh start. I was watching dreams collapse. So that period, the financial crisis is one of the biggest things that changed my entire outlook on life. And so I actually at that point said I can't do this the rest of my life. And that coincided with my mom, who's from Rochester reading the Democrat and Chronicle and seeing that there was a winery for sale. So one other little piece of that story, when I was in law school and met my wife in France, we decided to get married in Rochester because that's where most of my family was. And we had a house here where we would come on vacation and we figured it was halfway between California and France. So we get married in Rochester the day after the wedding, we tour the Finger Lakes. I fall in love with it so that seed is planted. I'm practicing. I'm really a lot of hours at times.
01:02:15:17 - 01:03:56:21
Chris Missick: This isn't against anyone. I was working with a fellow soul sucking, though, kind of that practice. And I just reached a point where when my mom called me one day, this was in 2011, we were I was about to go into court. I was literally in a parking garage. She says, hey, you remember that winery, that last one we visited? It's for sale. What do you think if we do a family project? And I I was just like, oh, my God, this is this is what I want to do. And, you know, prior to that, my wife and I had talked about some small projects in California, maybe doing a custom crush of sort of the copac of the wine industry starting a label. But I also didn't really want to be in California anymore. I wanted to go somewhere that felt like you could be a pioneer frontier. And the Finger Lakes. I'm not a pioneer. There are plenty of people who paved that way. But we're still at this point where the potential is enormous. We're still at a point where a lot of people don't know about the region yet. And so you get to evangelize and you get to build and you get to, you know, be part of that generation. That took a lot of the work that has been laid and really expand on that. So all of these feelings, the sense of building, the sense of uniqueness, the sense of place working in agriculture, a new new start, it was not the financially best decision for me to make. I would have done better continuing to practice law, but it is what I wanted to do with my life. So that's what led me here. It's been a long and winding road.
01:03:56:23 - 01:04:10:04
Paul Guglielmo: Your so well-spoken, you tell a good story. And you're well spoken. I don't know how you can listen to the two of us talk and think I'm the one who had the media career because I feel like I stumble and can't tell a story and listen to you.
01:04:10:07 - 01:04:11:11
Chris Missick: You're a heck of a lot funnier
01:04:11:17 - 01:05:26:11
Paul Guglielmo: Do you deal with imposter syndrome, though, being that you. You know, you were a lawyer forever, now you own your own winery, do you ever deal with imposter syndrome? Because I would feel that occasionally and then I listen to tons of entrepreneur podcasts and it comes up a ton with other entrepreneurs where they talk about the imposter syndrome. And when they describe it, I go, oh, my God, I get that sometimes. Now I'll be honest with you, I get it sometimes. And then there's other times where I'm very proud and I and I feel I feel as though the credit is deserved. Right. We have worked hard. We have learned a lot. We are doing things the right way. Then there's other times where I'm like, I should tell them all. At some point I have to tell them I'm a OK and I'll tell my wife that she's like, What have you done that's fraudulent? I'm like, well, they think that I know how to do this. And she'll be like, well, like, where's the fraud? Like, are you not doing it? Is someone else doing it? And I'm like, No, no, I'm doing it. But I don't know if I'm I don't know if I'm doing it right. Well, it seems like it's been seven years. It seems like maybe you're doing it right. You're not a friend, you know, and then I have to go like, no, she's right. I, I think actually I'm not actually fraudulent, you know what I mean? Like, that happens.
01:05:26:13 - 01:06:55:26
Chris Missick: I'll tell you, Paul, I have lived with that in every phase of my careers, whether it was as a soldier, whether it was as a lawyer, whether it was when I was just managing the winery all the way to to being the winemaker. I think that it is it can be dangerous, right. Because you can go down these rabbit holes of feeling inadequate. But I try and harness it to say, you know what? All it means is I don't know everything. So I need to keep working harder and harder and harder. And I don't know if if you or I will ever shake it, because I think it's part of what spurs us on and drives us. And you know what it's done for me. I was worried about it, and I realized one of the more technical styles of wine you can make is sparkling wine. And so it's I make a lot of sparkling wine. The first and foremost reason why I do it is because I love and sharing it, enjoying it. But it also is a way for and I didn't realize this at the time. I realized it much later. It was a way for me to say, you know what, I'm not a fraud. I'm not an impostor. I'm I'm kind of doing something really cool and really technical. It takes some skill and it also takes a lot of physical hard work. I don't know if we'll ever shake it. I don't know if it'd be good if we did.
01:06:57:16 - 01:08:42:17
Paul Guglielmo: No, it wouldn't. And you know, where it manifests itself in a good way is humility. What you just said, it's always learning. It's I think you and I are not afraid to say why or how. I don't understand. Can you explain that to me? Whereas I think, you know, we've been around some people who have maybe the opposite of impostor CEO and they kind of will not ever admit that. They don't know how are they don't know why. So they will just stay ignorant to those things because they're never going to tell you. They don't know how to do that. They're just pretend they know how to do it. Whereas I really have just never had any shyness towards calling somebody and going, hey, how do I do this and how do I do that? And, you know, that's what we're talking about. Cornell, earlier, that's one of those things where I'm not just going to put out an unsafe product. I'm going to call and get the answer to that. But now I know the answer to that. And I feel fraudulent because I didn't I you know, I go, well, I didn't create the answer to that. I asked someone else and my wife will say to me, So how do you think everyone else learns? They ask exactly like we put out this source. And I told my wife, I go, well, you know, I'm having the imposter syndrome thing happening. And it was this. We just did a we just did a collaboration with Pittsford and Living Rooms Winery. And my wife, I told my wife I go out again. I just feel. I just feel fraudulent over this, I just. You know, and she'll say, well, whose recipe did you steal? And I go, Well, no, I didn't steal anyone's recipe, I just made it up. But like, I didn't know what I was doing. She'll be like, well, that count, that still counts. Like if you made up that recipe and you put it into the public and people are buying it and saying they like it, that's called creating a recipe. You did the thing that you're afraid you didn't do. And I just have such a hard time understanding that I think that I probably sound crazy to people.
01:08:42:19 - 01:09:11:08
Chris Missick: I don't think so, because, I mean, the very first you mentioned Living Roots Winery, and the first thing that comes to mind is like they're real wine makers, right? Like Family Heritage goes back to Australia, hugely successful companies building a really cool project in Rochester. Like, man, they really know what they're doing. I'm just sort of bumbling along here. So, yeah, it it is it is there. It's a struggle, but. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
01:09:11:10 - 01:09:29:26
Paul Guglielmo: No, it's it's just interesting. I love talking to people about that, especially when I get the opportunity like this to talk to somebody like you to another business owner and just to hear that it exists with others that that that thing do you get to do do you do legal work for other wineries? Like are you do you get to put the lawyer muscle to work?
01:09:29:28 - 01:10:32:26
Chris Missick: So I have in the past, you know, when I kind of one other additional little story, I loved Rochester so much that even before I had planned on coming back here and coming into the wine industry, I took the New York bar. So I was licensed. I've been licensed in New York for well over a decade. And especially when we first moved back, I was doing more legal work, you know, not huge things, but whether it's advising on grape contracts, whether it's real estate transactions, even helping folks with, like cell tower leases, I would like to do more of that. I just found myself in the last probably three or four years not being able to dedicate the amount of time to clients that I knew that I would need to. Yeah, but, you know, as far as the business continues and grows, it's definitely something I would like to do, because it's that combination of not just knowing the law, but knowingas a winemaker that is pretty unique. Right.
01:10:33:19 - 01:11:08:26
Paul Guglielmo: It seems to me very marketable to a niche group of people. You know, you can you can basically go winery to winery in the Finger Lakes and be like, hey, guys, I'm like you in the sense that I'm a winemaker, but I'm also a lawyer. And you're probably paying a lot of money to lawyers who have to spend a lot of time looking up the things that you're asking them. Whereas I'm living this every single day, it seems marketable to me to play that. And granted, of course, you're trying to spend your time growing a wine brand. So like you're like, look, I don't have all the time in the world to go be a lawyer right now, but it does seem to me like like there's something there, you know? I mean, and you did all that studying, like, let's let's make some money off it.
01:11:09:04 - 01:11:33:02
Chris Missick: Yeah, that is true. And actually, speaking of having the chance to talk with other business folks, I totally forgot to mention your wonderful podcast so people can check that out as well. Were you you have a great survey of whether there are people who are cooperating with you or just other business leaders, specifically in the Rochester area. So people need to check out the Paul Guglielmo show.
01:11:34:11 - 01:12:20:02
Paul Guglielmo: Well, I appreciate that. Thank you. It's it's it's going OK, you know, I feel like I could put more work into it. I think one thing I said to myself pretty early on was, I don't want it to feel like work. I just want it to feel easy because I did do radio for so long. I like doing it. I like this. I like sitting it like look like you've been trying to get rid of me for 20 minutes and I'm like, let's keep talking, you know? And I so I do like doing this and I do the podcast, but I don't I used to think like man, I could really work hard at this and really go and get exclusive news making interviews. But then I went, you know what, I'd rather just sit back and talk to people about stuff I like talking about. So I think it's going fine. It seems to get a decent amount of listeners and we get some good storytelling on there, too. So thank you for the plug. I definitely
01:12:20:20 - 01:12:48:12
Chris Missick: I imagine, you know, because just like kind of talking about my my legal career, I do get that that itch sometimes. And I want to scratch it in terms of getting my hands on some legal work. This has to be a great way for you, though. To have a podcast have been in radio. You don't have to face all of the fears, the same grind, but you get to exercise that talent that you developed for so long.
01:12:49:23 - 01:14:44:00
Paul Guglielmo: It is because I will admit the one thing that I like is that we could just we could probably just keep going and I'm never going to let this go to that air ever. You know, I'm proud of that. I am actually proud of the fact that I can do that, because not every people to this day that are on the radio can do that. And I actually am proud of the fact that I got to the point where I'm gone. How much time do you need? Well, we'll fill it. Like, I'm not going to say it's all going to be good. You know, some of it I mean, there's there's definitely going to be some yawning, I think, at some point or another. But we can do this. One of my most favorite accomplishments in radio you mentioned earlier, Bob Lonsberry and I will say one thing. Bob did not think this was a great idea, but it was for the right reason. Bob actually was somebody who used to tell me off the air and behind the scenes that he thought that I had a very bright future in radio. And I think to him, I'm just I'm so worried to this day that I disappointed Bob, because I think to him when he heard I was leaving, he was like, oh, but, you know, you were going to take over for me one day. Like, that was kind of how I think he might have felt. I'm putting words in his mouth. So maybe he's like, shut up. But but that's where he was coming from. But I remember this one day I was at the Y in Pittsford. This is not that long ago, just a couple of years ago. And I was driving to work and it was like seven forty four. And he goes on the air at eight or five and I got the call saying, Lansberry snowed in, he can't be here. Can you be on the air at eight or five. And I'm looking and I'm going well yeah I'm going to be there in ten minutes. I can yeah I can do it. So I basically sat down to Lonsberry Show for four hours with zero problem. And I'm not again, I'm not going to say that that was an award winning show, but just the fact that I was able to do it was I was so proud of that van. I still hang my head on that.
01:14:44:09 - 01:15:02:03
Paul Guglielmo: You know, it sounds strange, Paul, but I think I remember that because you were saying I found out 15 minutes ago I'm going to be doing the show and driving up from Mount Morris would be quite a commute snowed in. And this was right before covid. So people were really prepped to get right on the air like that.
01:15:03:13 - 01:15:09:26
Chris Missick: No, no, it was people would do typically if I was going to do a four hour show, I would spend two hours. I mean, I
01:15:09:28 - 01:15:11:10
Chris Missick: would spend half the time I
01:15:11:12 - 01:15:12:11
Chris Missick: was going to be on the air. I would spend
01:15:12:13 - 01:15:13:26
Chris Missick: dombra, honestly. And when you say a
01:15:13:28 - 01:15:19:22
Chris Missick: four hour show, remember, we're talking radio. So it's really more like three hours. Once you take out all the commercials and news and traffic and all that stuff,
01:15:20:05 - 01:15:21:02
Chris Missick: I would do two hours
01:15:21:04 - 01:15:23:04
Chris Missick: of crap just to do three hours of talking.
01:15:23:06 - 01:15:25:22
Chris Missick: And I was impressed because it didn't just turn into open lines,
01:15:26:10 - 01:16:14:05
Paul Guglielmo: which is the easy go. No, no, it wasn't just. Oh, yeah. Open mic Friday. No, no, I just I sat there and I just told a few stories. I would always keep like a little note in my phone of stories I had for the radio just because I didn't, not because I was worried about running out of things to say, but just because I was I would forget them. You know, I would just forget these stories and I just I, I just remember going in that day and being like, all right. And I grab my phone and I opened up the notes and I just said, do a radio show, you know, then I brought up like 13 Wham dotcom. And I was like, let's see what the headlines are. Let's give some blind opinions on these things. And then, like, one of the tricks of radio also is if you just give, like, an opinion on something, you know, you're going to you're going to strike especially a news item. You're going to strike a chord because people are either going to be like, yes, or they're going to be like, you know. Yeah.
01:16:14:09 - 01:16:40:00
Chris Missick: Well, and what I always found fascinating, I think it speaks to both your characters. What we all need to do is rise above the some of the political disagreements we have. But Bob's been a good friend to me. But you guys have very different political opinions. So I imagine that that would have been a really easy way. Just knowing his audience, the demographic, you just say something off the wall. You're going to get a ton of calls and you've got an hour.
01:16:40:21 - 01:17:40:10
Paul Guglielmo: Yeah, yeah. I mean, and the thing is, I would do that show and I would get always a handful of calls saying, get this, get this guy off the air. His opinions are then you get a handful of calls, people saying, thank God, finally somebody to represent that opinion. And it's fine. It's all it always boils down to 50 50. All those things always boil down to half the people think that thing and half the people think that thing always does. And I just think that one of the strategies for radio and how to do that, how to do those really hard, controversial political topics is to stay within the 40 yard lines of it. And, you know, give that that give that a kind of that left opinion, kind of that right opinion. But like, if you start going, like, all the way to the or all the way to the right, you then you come off like a crazy, you know, like you stay within the 40s or the 30s and maybe tiptoe to the twenty five. But you don't go much further than that. Be careful.
01:17:40:29 - 01:18:19:21
Chris Missick: You can get yourself in trouble. You know, on this show, this isn't an overtly political show, but we have guest people will hear these podcasts and it ranges. So it will be and it's more, I don't talk specific, it's not red versus blue, it's philosophy and it is about exposing people to different ideas. We we have forgotten how to do that. We have forgotten how to talk to each other and recognize going back to what you were talking about living in Italy, that we are all people that, you know, just because we have a different idea doesn't mean we should be abandoned or thrown off, you know, the block and we've got to be able to get along.
01:18:21:12 - 01:18:23:07
Paul Guglielmo: Do you ever go to the doctor when you're in France,
01:18:23:21 - 01:18:34:27
Chris Missick: so I, I did. I have one funny story about that, not for me, but invariably when I was in France, I would end up with some kind of sinus infection or some sort of stomach bug, so.
01:18:36:21 - 01:19:07:21
Paul Guglielmo: Well. Well, I I went to the doctor in Italy once in my parents wired me like 700 dollars because they were like, well, well, we don't know what this is going to be. And I just remember the guy, like, looked me over, told me that I had whatever I had handed me a bottle of stuff and is like, they'll be eleven dollars. And then I called my parents and I was like, you got it right. It was seven hundred dollars. That's great. I can't believe how you guys knew that exact dollar. That's great.
01:19:08:11 - 01:20:23:06
Chris Missick: Yeah. No, I would say that 25 dollars or you know, whatever it was, the the craziest kind of medical story is really a lost in translation story. So my first year of law school that summer studying in France, one of my friends, and it's towards the end of kind of that short semester gets really sick. So they take her to the doctor. The doctor sends her to the hospital. They check her in. All of us are saying, oh, my gosh, what's going on? They have her in isolation. For this short period of time, whatever, eventually we we hear that the doctors have told her that she has smallpox and she's scared to death. Where do you even get smallpox these days? It's France. I mean, this isn't, you know, kind of backwoods somewhere. And it turns out that they were just taking some precautions. She actually had the chickenpox, but they didn't know how to translate it. Right. She had never had the chickenpox. Literal, small, little. She told me she had smallpox. I mean, that was intense. Everyone was like we were around her. I had been deployed already. So I was like I had my smallpox vaccine. I really want.
01:20:25:00 - 01:20:59:10
Paul Guglielmo: But oh, my God, that's so funny, right? They were trying to describe like there is these tiny pox that you have on your body. They're like smallpox. I could totally see that happen. Where I lived was also backwoods. It was very rural at the hospital was like two hours away. And the pharmacy and the doctors were open during the day. And so I remember one time having it occur to me like, what if I got sick at three o'clock in the morning on a Saturday? And I asked my host mother and she's like, don't don't do that. Don't get sick if I'm going. What do you mean don't do that?
01:21:00:20 - 01:21:25:02
Chris Missick: When I, my wife is from a small town outside of Toulouse and Sundays, there is nothing open, absolutely nothing, you know, and Saturday, same thing. It was, you know, kind of shorter days. So there is that sort of American on demand, like imminent fear of, oh, my gosh, what if what if I need a Gatorade? Because I was sweating during thathike?
01:21:25:04 - 01:21:34:04
Paul Guglielmo: totally. Yeah. What if what if I'm hungry on a Saturday night at 10:00 and their answer is just kind of like, don't don't be hungry. You should have eaten dinner with, you know.
01:21:35:16 - 01:21:38:16
Chris Missick: So that's why there's cured me. It stays good forever.
01:21:39:22 - 01:21:58:06
Paul Guglielmo: Yeah, yeah, they'll just be like for like maybe there's leftovers or something, but. Right. I like that idea of I'm going to drive to the 7-Eleven and get some chips or something like not happening, not happening in this town that I lived in. No. No. Anyway, all right. Well, hey, listen, I'm sorry. I know I dragged you a half hour longer, but,
01:21:58:08 - 01:22:04:15
Chris Missick: hey, that's fine. The show the show goes with the flow. So and if people don't want to listen, they can tune out.
01:22:07:04 - 01:22:34:14
Paul Guglielmo: That's true, and as in my experience, they will, but they and they will they will email you later let you know they tuned out so they didn't hear the thing that they then tell you that when we talked about that was one of my favorites. That's another radio thing is I never listen to your show. I absolutely hate your show. A good example would be yesterday when you were talking about this, that was like that was a total thing that would have on the radio all the time.
01:22:34:22 - 01:22:37:17
Chris Missick: Well, the important thing is, did they hear the advertisers or not?
01:22:38:26 - 01:22:39:18
Paul Guglielmo: Right. Right.
01:22:41:09 - 01:23:01:19
Chris Missick: I can't tell you how good it's been to sit down with you, Paul. You're really doing a great job grow in this business. It's exciting to see how you're able to facilitate other folks dreams come true. Looking forward to using it in our kitchen at the winery and when I'm a little lazy at home as well, because we tend to make our own sauces.
01:23:03:03 - 01:23:32:05
Paul Guglielmo: Thank you, our pizza sauce. You mentioned the flatbread pizza sauce has of butter and honey in it. So that's where a lot of a lot of people will say, like, oh, this has such a good flavor to its butter and honey. Most pizza sauces just have sugar and oregano or it's like thick, like the standard American pizza sauce is like tomato. Sugar, oregano. We're thick tomato butter, honey and oregano, but but the butter and the honey instead of the sugar is like the thing that makes it
01:23:32:09 - 01:23:40:26
Chris Missick: so that is that is one of my kind of secret sauces. Honey, on pizza is one of the best things ever. Something I discovered in France.
01:23:42:24 - 01:23:57:21
Paul Guglielmo: Absolutely. Chris, thanks for having me do this as well. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. You're a pro. You sound good. You've got a whole set up like this. Very professional. This is this is great.
01:23:57:23 - 01:24:03:06
Chris Missick: You know, we need to just do a segment where you can tell me how great I am and I can get rid of the imposter syndrome.
01:24:04:24 - 01:24:08:19
Paul Guglielmo: Well, let's come out. We don't have to record it, but let me come out and drink some wine. That sounds
01:24:08:21 - 01:24:24:06
Chris Missick: good. Sounds good. Yeah. Well, I want to thank everybody for tuning in. We've had the chance to talk with Paul Guglielmo, who has a storied career in Rochester radio and is writing a new chapter in his book, Guglielmo Sauce. And Copaken It's
01:24:24:12 - 01:24:26:15
Paul Guglielmo: a Great Product. Pick it up.
01:24:27:00 - 01:24:29:06
Paul Guglielmo: And now you know the story behind it. Thanks.
01:24:31:06 - 01:24:50:03
Chris Missick: I hope you enjoyed the show, this has been viticulture where we share ways to cultivate a good life. Don't forget to visit our website at viticulture podcast Dotcom. Subscribe to our substory, where you'll get show notes, transcripts, musings and exclusive offers and check us out on all the major social media platforms.
01:24:50:21 - 01:24:52:01
Thanks again for stopping by.