Knowing what you want to do early on is easier for some than others. For Sam Agolino, owner of Bar Pazzo in Pennsylvania, he knew what he wanted do since childhood. Growing up in a family restaurant, Agolino was inspired by his father and what he made for his family. At the age of 11, he begged his father to let him work and he ended up starting as a dishwasher. After getting his hands dirty in the restaurant business, his dream of starting his very own business one day only grew stronger throughout his teenage and adult years.
Agolino’s biggest push to open up shop lied in his inherent passion for the restaurant business and serving people. Being surrounded by every type of worker in a restaurant setting, Agolino understood what a second family felt like and grew to love all aspects of the business. That’s why when he started Bar Pazzo, he found that making the right team was the most important and hardest obstacle to overcome. Getting the right staff who are in it for the long-haul and have the same passion for the restaurant business was critical to Agolino. And not only that, his support system that he could turn to at the end of his days were equally as important; he leaned on his family, wife, parents, and partners daily to help make his dream of owning his own restaurant a reality.
Growing up in the restaurant business, Agolino feels fortunate that he has his parents as great resources to turn to. He would say that the best part of his job is being able to make people smile, both his customers and personal supporters. He loves serving good food and giving great service to others just to hear them say, “That’s the best meal I ever had!” After numerous years of ramping up his first business, he feels he has grown professionally and personally. He developed a strong work ethic, learned how to work with different personalities, and understood how to better manage a team. Every day, Agolino finds there is something new to learn from someone who enters his restaurant doors, whether it be the dishwasher, server, manager, or customer.
Agolino has some words of advice for first-time business owners. He shared, “Get ready to work - it’s no joke. You’re here all day long, every day. It’s not a 9-5 job and it will require long hours. But in the end, it’s very rewarding and worth it. Also, if you’re just thinking about starting a business, I have three words: research, study, read. Get all the information that you can before you do something and be well-informed.”
Next time you’re in Scranton, Pennsylvania, make sure to visit Bar Pazzo!