Bank of America / Merrill Lynch Breakfast Series: Tuscan Brand's Joe Faro
For Joe Faro '91, the future began taking shape in an entrepreneurship class during his senior year at UNH. Until then, he knew food was his passion. He grew up working in his parents' bakery in Haverhill, Mass; he had even begun creating his own handmade pasta. Like most college students, however, he had no idea where it would take him.
Assigned to write a business plan, Faro conceived an idea for a company, Joseph's Gourmet Pasta and Sauces, which he entered in the Whittemore School Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market Competition. "I intended to bring it to a bank, borrow $1 million and retrofit an old shoe factory," Faro says.
Faro finished second and graduated into the 1991 recession. He took his plan to 15 banks before one in Lawrence, Mass., found "creative collateralization" to launch his business.
For young entrepreneurs who would like to replicate Faro's success story, he has two pieces of advice.
"Mentally prepare yourself for the rejection and adversity you'll face through your entire business career," he says. "There's a pothole on every street, but there's always a workaround and a way to persevere."
And he also advises to not be hasty in changing your vision: "Adapt to the environment, but stay true to what you do."