Did you know that there should be a Domino’s pizza where GROW now stands? True story. When Fred and I were first looking at locations for our luncheonette, we had our eyes on a different spot around the corner. The landlord kept putting us off and didn’t return our phone calls. We were getting really frustrated and didn’t think it was going to happen. Then one of our friends said that the corner space on Howe Ave had a sign up and that we should check it out. It was then that we met Ralph Matto.
He showed us around the space which was then a makeshift locksmith storefront. As we walked, we told him our story- that Fred is a really talented chef and that we were going to open a shop dedicated to soup. Now mind you, at the time we had been met with a lot of discouraging feedback about our idea. Our friends and family were trying to talk us out of quitting our jobs with two small children just to follow a dream.
He listened and we said our good-byes. I really liked Ralph. He was straight forward and he reminded me a lot of my dad. Nevertheless, we thought that he would blow us off the same way the others did and that our unrealistic dream would be put on hold yet again.