Small Business, Big Challenges (Ep.11) What Small Businesses Are Currently Going Through

Posted by Casandra Properties on Friday, September 11th, 2020 at 1:21pm.

Episode 11: Small Business, Big Challenges; What Small Businesses Are Currently Going Through

This week, CEO James Prendamano rolled out his 11th episode of the Casandra Properties podcast, sitting down with local Staten Island business owner/restaurateur Mario Ferraro, whom James calls a dear friend since childhood. Mr. Ferraro is currently “out there every day fighting the good fight on Staten Island” emphasizes James. “Until we weren’t able to,” Mario chimes in. “Because of Coronavirus and now because of inconsistent policies,” James adds.

Like a number of native Staten Islanders, Mario Ferraro grew up in a big Italian family where meals were the central event. Sadly, Mario lost his mother in 1998. He was only about 21 years old at the time, still a boy who once had dreams of being a firefighter. Mario’s mother LOVED to cook, and he fondly recalls all the holiday meals and events that took place in his childhood home on the North Shore of Staten Island. Mario not only learned how to cook from his mother, he distinctly remembers how much she had enjoyed watching people eat her food. Mario, much like his mother, also finds pleasure in preparing a variety of delicious dishes and watching customers, friends, and family enjoy his creations.

By the time he was thirty, Mario had worked at a few of his uncle’s restaurants. With that experience, in addition to all the time he had spent cooking with his mother from a very young boy, Mario found his calling. In 2007, Mario opened his first restaurant, Marie’s Gourmet, paying homage to his late mother, of course.  

Marie’s: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Marie’s Gourmet on Victory Boulevard has been a staple and a success on the North Shore of Staten Island for 13 years. After much hard work, Mario went on to open Marie’s II on Hyatt Street in St. George a decade later in 2017, more of a delivery/take out venue. Now, says Ferraro, we’re opening a third location on the other side of Staten Island, the south shore (Charleston), which will be named “Vitalia.”

James perfectly describes Marie’s -- “It’s closest thing you will find to a ‘Cheers’ type place here on Staten Island.” Local North Shore residents frequently gather at Marie’s, wherein you will find regular patrons, a charismatic serving staff, and a fantastic array of homecooked Italian dishes. “Along with the amazing homemade Italian food,” adds James, “it’s a place with a very cool vibe that’s impossible to duplicate.”

Interested in seeing and listening to the rest of this podcast to find out more about the challenges of owning a local business?

Subscribe on Apple podcast for more episodes.

Check out more helpful articles about commercial and residential real estate from the Casandra Properties blog!

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