GARDEN STATE VISIONARIES SHARE FAVORITE BEACH DESTINATIONS, NUMBER ONE SUMMER SONGS, AND THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT FOR SUCCEEDING IN BUSINESS

BY ERIK SCHONING, ARCHANA AITHAL ROSE, AND AMANDA MCCOY PHOTOS BY TOM ZAPCIC, ALEX BARRETO, AND VIOLET MAYER PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

 

Louis Scaduto Jr.
President & CEO, Food Circus Super Markets trading as Circus Foodtowns Managing Director, Circus Wines, Beer & Spirits / circuswines.com
The phrase “shop local” holds special meaning for this Middletown native, whose family has been serving the Garden State community his entire life. Scaduto’s grandfather co-launched a humble candy shop in 1927, and since then the Circus brand has grown to encompass several supermarkets, pet supply stores, and wine and spirit retailers throughout New Jersey. And while today he serves as president and CEO, managing the financial operations of all Circus enterprises, Scaduto’s career with the family business began at 14. “My first job was pushing carriages at the Middletown Foodtown,” he said. “We all really started from the ground up.”

Looking ahead, the third generation owner feels proud to continue investing in a community he’s always called home. “We are a true local business. It’s so meaningful to serve the community where you live, work, and play. We’re honored to truly be a part of the fabric of New Jersey.”

A&G SPREAD

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT FOR SUCCEEDING IN BUSINESS?
To be true to your passion, and don’t promise something you can’t deliver.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE BEACH DESTINATION AND FAVORITE BEACH ACTIVITY?
I’m constantly at Edgewater, and my favorite beach activity is to spend time with my family

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE SONG ON YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST?
Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra.

 

 

 

 

 

Norman J. Reola
Vice President of Esperto Hospitality Group centradarestaurant.com, catch19redbank.com
Growing up in a large Italian family, food was central to Reola’s life right from the start. Mealtimes were animated and engaging, and entailed an average of 30 people around the table at any given time of year. “When we’d sit down for lunch, we’d already be talking about what we’d have for dinner,” recalled Reola.

Naturally, he gravitated toward the culinary arts, calling it “a rather organic transition for me.” Today, Reola is VP of culinary in the restaurant group responsible for the eclectic seafood eatery Catch 19 in Red Bank and the newly opened, three-story Centrada, a pan-Latin haven for foodies. “The menu at Centrada is designed for the clientele in the area and features the richness and vibrancy of Latin flavors, but almost with an Italian air,” said the chef. “ at includes pasticho, a Latin style layered pasta with chorizo and beef, paella risotto, and our pasta saltado, a spaghetti with Wagyu beef. There’s a distinctive Italian touch that reminds me of the food I grew up eating.”

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT FOR SUCCEEDING IN BUSINESS?
There’s more than one trait: leadership, confidence, goal setting, but as a chef, I’d say the number one trait is passion.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE BEACH DESTINATION AND ACTIVITY?
I lived around Strath mere and still enjoy going to the beach there. Favorite activity is just relaxing and having a cocktail by my pool.

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE SONG ON YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST?
“Carnival de Paris” by CID.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carey Tajfel
President, TFE Properties / tfeproperties.com
For Carey Tajfel, property management is a family a air. He is the current president of TFE Properties and Hotels Unlimited Inc. and got his start in the business through his parents, who owned and managed hotels. In 1990, Tajfel and his brother got involved, helping oversee TFE’s transition from the hotel business to just about every type of property under the sun. Despite the expansion, TFE is still very much a family business. Tajfel’s wife, Francine Tajfel, is the company’s general counsel, and they have several children in the fold as well.

Unlike national companies that focus on build-for-sale projects, TFE focuses on rentals for their own portfolio. This approach allows Tajfel and his team to maintain control over their projects even as they’ve expanded into asset classes outside hotels, such as retail, self-storage, multifamily, and office space. It’s a perfect middle ground that allows TFE to maintain a small business ethos even while managing an ever expanding range of properties.

“We had to learn as we went,” Tajfel said. “That gave us a very broad foundation. It gives us an edge that we can enter any sector and figure out a way to make a deal work. Or if it’s a deal that requires multiple components, we’re able to bring multiple disciplines to the table.”

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT FOR SUCCEEDING IN BUSINESS?
I would say follow-through, attention to detail, and multitasking.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE BEACH DESTINATION AND FAVORITE BEACH ACTIVITY?
I like a lot of different beaches and I like variety. I guess if I were picking one, I would say the beaches in Hawaii. I like to be in the water.

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE SONG ON YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST?
Right now, I’m into the song “Woman” by Doja Cat. My kids laugh at me, but I like the rhythm.

 

 

 

 

 

Paola Zamudio
Creative Director and Lead Designer, Bell Works bellworks.com
Creative and forward thinking, Paola Zamudio is somewhat of an anomaly in the world of architecture and design. The award-winning NPZ Style & Décor founder played a major role in converting the two million square foot former Bell Labs in Holmdel into the revolutionary mixed-use hub Bell Works. With degrees under her belt from Barry University, Future London Academy, the New School, and Polimoda, Zamudio noted that, “Curiosity, wanderlust, traveling, and experience in various disciplines have all shaped my craft. My design approach is a collage of the encounters and new cultures I’ve experienced.”

Bell Works was a mammoth undertaking, and Zamudio collaborated with head architect Alexander Gorlin and developer Ralph Zucker to bring their ambitious vision to life. “The scale and proportion of the building was a big challenge; it made us scratch our heads and ask, ‘How do you make it work?’” she said. “Bell Works is a masterpiece, so my goal was to pay homage to its past, yet take it to the next level, something I call retro futurism. I worked with world renowned artists, brands, and architects to make sure the space shines while still maintaining its legacy.”

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT FOR SUCCEEDING IN BUSINESS?
Staying humble, multitasking, and cultivating a team by inspiring, coaching, and leading positively.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE BEACH DESTINATION AND BEACH ACTIVITY?
I love Asbury Park and the beautiful beaches there. Also, it’s nice to hop on a plane to Miami or Tulum.

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE SONG ON YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST?
“Provenza” by Karol G, perfect summer ‘22 vibes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph Cetrulo III
Owner, Gavone’s Italian / gavonesitalian.com
The son of a chef and restaurateur, Cetrulo was essentially born into the culinary industry, raised on scratch-made Italian classics and taking his first job with his father at 15. He ventured west to launch his first restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, but in 2019, his home state was calling, and Cetrulo returned to New Jersey to launch Gavone’s, a vibrant fast-casual Italian-American eatery in Long Branch’s Pier Village.

“I was inspired by the paninero culture in Milan from the 1980s as they were said to have a passion for McDonald’s, Moncler, and motorbikes,” said Cetrulo. “I brought them all together and created Gavone’s, a casual Italian-American, counter service restaurant where customers can enjoy quick, fresh food and spend time with friends.”
Every dish on the menu is made to order and spans all the comfort classics Cetrulo grew up eating: bubbling pizzas, homemade pastas, crisp sandwiches, and Italian staples like chicken parm all served against views of the Jersey shore.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT FOR SUCCEEDING IN BUSINESS?
Determination to keep going is the most important trait to have in business. It can be a roller coaster at times, and I’ve learned to stay consistent amid the highs and lows.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE BEACH DESTINATION AND FAVORITE BEACH ACTIVITY?
My favorite beaches are definitely Pier Village in Long Branch and Asbury Park. I grew up in Northern New Jersey, so they were always the closest to me; however, as I got older, I realized they are also the best beach spots in NJ.

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE SONG ON YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST?
I will always be listening to the entire Yeezus album by Kanye West every summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christine Morford
Sales Associate, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach / morfordmanors.com
Realtor Christine Morford has always been passionate about home ownership: she bought her rst house when she was 19 and has never looked back
“I’ll never forget my first realtor,” Morford said. “It was a disaster. I just knew that I could do a better job for my clients. That’s what sparked me.”

Morford has been involved in real estate since 1997, selling properties first in Florida then in Monmouth and Ocean Counties since 2018. Today she represents a wide array of clients, buying and selling beachfront condos, sprawling estates, and rustic farmhouses. It’s a roster of homes as diverse as the state itself.

“For me, New Jersey is a combination of all of my favorite things from all of the places that I’ve lived,” Morford said. “You have the beaches, you have the woods. You have the city, you have the mountains. You have just about everything.”

But as any realtor knows, this business is more about people than property. Dating back to her first home-buying experience, Morford learned early on that for clients, buying or selling a property isn’t an everyday experience. It’s a major life event, and that client first approach informs everything she does. It’s her secret to success.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT FOR SUCCEEDING IN BUSINESS?
You have to put others’ needs and desires in front of your own. If you can help other people, the rest just falls into place.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE BEACH DESTINATION AND FAVORITE BEACH ACTIVITY?
If I’m at the beach, I’m either in the water or looking for seashells or treasures in the sand. I like to just walk along the water. As far as destination, I really don’t think there’s any better place to go than New Jersey. Everywhere else is so hot. I like being here.

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE SONG ON YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST?
I’m a big fan of old school hip-hop. I can’t help it. I just love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph Pernice
Co-Owner, Aunt Butchie’s of Brooklyn auntbutchiesofbrooklyn.com
An accountant by trade who manages the financials for a bustling Italian eatery with multiple locations across the tri-state area, Joseph Pernice could easily publish a handbook on success.

“The restaurant business is like an emotional roller coaster,” he said. “You have many highs and many lows, busy then slow weeks, increased product pricing, difficulty finding workers, and managing staff the challenges are endless. The exciting part of the business, however, is being able to provide smiles on patron’s faces after they have dinner or a family air, and we get it right with the food and service. Also, the hope that each week you get a little busier than the last.”

Wearing a suit or shorts and flip flops,” explained the Urban Coalhouse co-founder. “It’s a family-oriented restaurant, and I think the quality of the food really sets up apart.” While the rustic chic eatery is famed for its bubbling coal- red pizzas, Cameron implores first-time diners not to ignore the wings, made with the restaurant’s signature dry rub and smothered with oven-roasted onions. Just about everything on the menu is made from scratch, from the marinara to the salt.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT FOR SUCCEEDING IN BUSINESS?
You must believe in what you are doing. Whether it is selling a product or providing a service you have to love what you do. Once you have that the business will come.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE BEACH DESTINATION AND FAVORITE BEACH ACTIVITY?
Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos, and to jam with my kids.

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE SONG ON YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST?
“Summertime” by Kenny Chesney.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill DiMaio
General Manager, Jaguar Land Rover Monmouth landrovermonmouth.com
Andrew Cameron knows dealerships. The 30-year industry veteran and current general manager of Jaguar Land Rover Monmouth in Eatontown has worked as a mechanic, lead technician, and parts and service director before stepping into his current role. It’s a breadth of experience that allows DiMaio to understand and guide every aspect of his business. DiMaio has been with his dealership’s parent company, Penske Automotive Group, for 30 years this August, and in that time he’s sold luxury vehicles in Long Island and New Jersey. Today he’s thankful to work out of Monmouth County and to be in a market that allows a high volume of sales.

Wearing a suit or shorts and flip flops,” explained the Urban Coalhouse co-founder. “It’s a family-oriented restaurant of the food really sets up apart.” While the rustic chic eatery is famed for its bubbling coal red pizzas, Cameron implores first-time diners not to ignore the wings, made with the restaurant’s signature dry rub and smothered with oven-roasted onions. Just about everything on the menu is made from scratch, from the marinara.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT FOR SUCCEEDING IN BUSINESS?
It’s people. It’s your staff and surrounding yourself with the right people.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE BEACH DESTINATION AND FAVORITE BEACH ACTIVITY?
Long Beach Island, and my favorite activities are boating and jet skiing.

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE SONG ON YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST?
Let’s go with “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.