Goodfella's is the name and family is the game. Since 1993, brothers Scot and Marc Cosentino and brother-in-law E. Jay Myers (37, 38 and 36, respectively) have been serving up gourmet pizzas to New Yorkers with Goodfella's Brick Oven Pizza. With no background in food service, $75,000 among the three of them and a love for food and family, Scot, Marc and Myers set out to create a business that would put them on the map. They opened their first restaurant on Staten Island in January 1993 with competition from five other pizzerias within 10 blocks. With no air conditioning, a refrigerator from their house and a teeny mixer, they cleaned their windows and typed up a menu.
"In the beginning, we went to food distributors and said, 'Give us the best of everything,'" Scot remembers. "And that's how we put together the taste-not by any recipe, not by any standards. We just started throwing things together."
The three men made a pact that, no matter what happened, they weren't going to let anyone else determine their course. "We knew we wanted to be in control of our own destiny," Myers says.
Within seven months of starting, Goodfella's Pizza was voted the best pizza in the country at a national pizza contest in Manhattan and subsequently given national TV exposure. With a full house every night, they opened a second location in Brooklyn, New York, in 1994. In 1998, they formed their Goodfella's franchise under the name Globe Restaurant Group Inc. With sales figures of $2.8 million for 1999, Myers predicts close to $5 million this year with the opening of five more stores.
"We work 190 hours a week," says Myers. "We love it."
"For us," adds Scot, "it's franchise by day, restaurant by night."