Brian Leventhal Co-Founder and CEO of Brooklyn Winery
Favorite Foods: Bagels with a schmeer. All Jewish foods, including gefilte fish, “the hot dog of fish”
Talk about trial by fire, Leventhal was living in Brooklyn and walking to the winery one morning when he noticed fire trucks there – and 30-40 firemen on ladders going straight up to his roof.
“One of the scariest things for a business owner is watching them unravel the fire hose, suited up and tearing down your walls.”
Well, one wall, anyway. The insulation in a wall adjoining the winery had caught fire.
Not good when hosting events accounts for 75% of the income for your business, not to mention the fact that they’d just started hosting weddings, too, which became their largest demographic (“the first time we were asked if we hosted weddings, I said sure, figuring that we’d figure it out”).
“We were hosing a wedding that evening,” he added.
The fire department left at 11 and with the bride arriving at 4, there was nothing to do but head to Home Depot for power tools and dry wall.
“The firemen tear down, but they don’t rebuild.”
With everyone pitching in, the wall went back up (“it looked pretty damn good!”) and inspired Leventhal to believe that he could get through any adversity.
Guess he figured it out after all.