Paulie Guglieamo, owner of Guglieamo's Pasta Sauce and a radio personality in Rochester, was the celebrity chef at the Culinary Arts Program at BOCES yesterday.
Guglieamo shared with students how he started his business and talked about some of the challenges and pleasures of starting and owning your own business. He then took the students into the kitchen and showed him how he makes his pasta sauces, which are based on recipes developed by his grandmother during the Great Depression and use garden-fresh ingredients.
He encouraged students to follow their passions as they set themselves on a path toward their eventual careers.
"If you have passion and you truly love it, you can do it," Guglieamo said.
Guglieamo's sauce is now sold in Wegmans, Tops and other retail outlets throughout the northeast. He said he's succeeded because of the passion he has for his product.
"When you actually have something that is an extension of you -- that's my brand, that's me, that's my actual phone number, I put my cell phone number on every jar we sell -- you can't possibly fail," Guglieamo said. "I cannot not sell this jar of sauce. I can't walk into a store and not sell it."
When Guglieamo was first starting his radio career, he was in sales.
"I was very, very, very bad (at sales)," he said.
If a customer offered an objection, he didn't have an answer, but now, selling his own product, he has all the answers.
"I have the answers to everything because this is my life, this is my baby right here," he said.