It was another of my favorite meetings at Seven Stars Bakery. This day, I met Ken Raspallo, brother of Mike, my cousin’s husband. (We don’t have six degrees of separation here in RI, we have three).
“Ed,” Mike said, “You should meet my brother. He has ‘something going’ with a new product.”
Ken e-mailed me about his new product…biscotti. Well I was intrigued, though I did not believe the world, much less Rhode Island, needed another biscotti product.
We met. A stocky, bright-eyed enthusiast with a firm handshake, Ken., engaging and sincere… had a style that encouraged me to listen
I forgot about the biscotti when he started to tell me of his multifaceted career… successful in sales, retail, marketing, wholesaling et. al. “I needed to try something different, so I started baking biscotti. I had a lot of people test them, and they said they were good. So off I went.”
“Why the name “Two Papas Biscotti Company?” I was intrigued.
“I loved my grandfathers. They were industrious, hard-working, complimentary and treated me as an equal. What great values they had, and they never really boasted. They worked hard to support families. They inspired me! So why not “Two Papas?”
I loved his link to the immigrants and their successes. I tell my children, “You need to thank those immigrant grandparents and the courage they had to come to this country for a chance to survive and help their families. Because of them, you are successful.” Ken embodied their spirit. Not afraid to take a chance, not afraid to fail, never boasting with his successes, never making excuses for any failures.
“I make, market and sell them myself.” He showed me the number of prominent stores that have stocked his product.
“Ken, can you make a gluten-free biscotti?”
“Sure, I can make anything. Just look at my list… limoncello, blueberry lemon, double chocolate chip among others…Why not gluten-free?”
I had the sense that Ken was out to prove how well he can make biscotti. No surprise. He embodied the drive of our immigrant ancestors and the Two Papas.
And, oh yes, he gave me a package. Diane and I tried them that evening and finished the lot. Is there room for other biscotti? You bet.
Try Two Papas…you will not be disappointed.