owner / operator
At the young age of 18, Jesse started off his professional career in real estate in Manhattan. Over a two-year period Jesse closed over 60 rental transactions & signed a sales contract for $2.2M with in his first 12 months of employment.
After a few years of success in the real estate business, Jesse was approached by his Father about investing in a small restaurant project in the West Village. That concept turned out to be the original Fatty Crab. Jesse and his Father partnered with celebrity Chef Zakary Pelaccio in 2005 and played key roles in the creation & roll out of Fatty Crab. Over a ten year period, they opened ten different restaurants under the Fatty umbrella (owner operated, licensing & consulting deals) in NYC, Brooklyn, St. John, U.S.V.I., & Hong Kong, China. At its peak, Jesse was responsible for oversite of 200+ employees and 30+ managers. Jesse also has experience negotiating licensing deals as he successfully opened two locations at the Barclays Center Arena in Brooklyn. Additionally, the team created three private label products with Williams Sonoma, which were sold online & in all 250 stores. Jesse has worked with some of the best professionals in the business, including mixologist Phil Ward, who is regarded as one of the best bartenders in the country. Together, they collaborated on cocktail lists for four locations, including a full service cocktail bar in Hong Kong, China.
Looking for new opportunities and challenges, Jesse then went on to consult and oversee the Northeast region (which represented 50% of the companies revenue) for Innovate Food Holdings - a leader in the sourcing, preparation, and delivery of specialty/fresh food. Prior to being sold, The Fresh Diet (a subsidiary of Innovative Food Holdings) was North America's leading food technology company, covering 16,000 miles and over 574 town and cities across the United States. Under Jesse’s leadership and with his operational expertise, he was able to save the company just under $1M within his first twelve months of employment. At the end of his consulting agreement, Jesse decided to head north and move to Poughkeepsie.
With his wife in the apple farming business and his extensive career in the food business, Jesse always knew that he would end up in the Hudson Valley. Shortly after, Jesse partnered with the Baxter family and created Heritage Food + Drink in Wappingers Falls.