Welcome to the
Moorestown Business Association!
The MBA, an organization of professional, retail and non-profit businesses, promotes Moorestown as the ideal town in which to shop, seek professional services and participate in community life.
Register for Autumn in Moorestown
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Passariello's honored with MBA Spotlight Award
Sep 08, 2016 -
Passariello’s Marks a Milestone and Merits MBA Spotlight Award
MOORESTOWN—From the day Passariello’s Pizzeria and Italian Kitchen first opened in 1996, its doors were filled with a stream of people—parents darting in and out to pick up pizzas, sports teams gathering after practices, families taking a break from their own kitchens, business lunches, celebrations, and after-work get-togethers. The constant procession of customers indicated that the bright, cheerful restaurant was just what Moorestown needed, and it has endured because Passariello’s owners are committed to doing things just right.
For founders Pasquale, Vincenzo, Giovanni, and Sakari Passariello, the restaurant is not just a business or a job, it is their passion—and it shows. In an industry in which 60 percent of restaurants fail in their first year and 80 percent don’t make it past five years, Passariello’s will mark its 20th anniversary in Moorestown the week of September 12. Moorestown Business Association is presenting Passariello’s with a Spotlight Award to applaud the restaurant’s success as it celebrates this important milestone.
Along with offering a large variety of fresh, delicious food in short order, a unique food service concept sets Passariello’s apart from traditional pizzeria’s. Instead of a wait staff, customers can see and order everything they might want to eat at different food stations. Pasquale, who came up with the idea, loves to tell how it came about.
The native of Monte di Procida, Italy (near Naples) started his food journey in the galley of a European cargo ship and followed opportunities to build his skills in different kitchens on America’s East Coast. He spent the next chapter of his career managing quality control in Scotto pizza outlets all over the country, and eventually bought several Scotto franchises—the last one located in South Jersey’s Echelon Mall. It was there that he developed his idea for a food court style restaurant where patrons could walk around and choose from different categories of menu items. When the property that would eventually become Passariello’ became available in Moorestown, he and his brothers jumped at the opportunity to build Pasquale’s dream business.
The timing was perfect—Moorestown embraced the fun, new family-friendly place, and 12 years later they opened a second location in Voorhees. Currently the Passariellos are looking to expand further, but only if they can do it their way—and they are very particular. It is no accident that the organization runs like clockwork. “Each of the four brothers plays an integral role in the family business,” explains the company’s director Ted Barber.
“Pasquale is the visionary with an instinct for planning and design who developed the overall character of Passariellos. Giovanni is the culinarian, with a fastidious regard to purchasing and management systems, as well as having a keen eye on continuously upgrading and improving the operation. Vincenzo oversees the operational end of the bustling business, including the product flow and staff; and Sakari is the landscape architect and problem solver who keeps an eye on theming, decoration and the impeccable design of the interior and exterior of the business.” The one element that is common amongst the family members, Barber says, is an intense pride in everything they do and a relentless commitment to excellence.
This vigorous dedication to perfection shows in the details, and nothing is done halfway. In many restaurants, especially those as busy as this, the booths are bolted down—but not at Passariello’s. Every stick of furniture is moved each week so the floor and hard to reach areas can be scrupulously cleaned. There is a staff member who spends over three hours every day seeing to the exterior plantings and cleaning. Another is hand-cutting the chicken in the kitchen, while someone else is making certain the prep area is spotless. Food safety is paramount. Barber, who has worked on major food service projects throughout the world, says he seldom sees this level of detail by independent operators within this casual dining sector.
He also points out that family members aren’t always the best partners, but says, “There is something special about this family.” The hard working and family centric culture instilled in the children from an early age by the family patriarch, Clemente Passariello, has shaped the way the Passariello children conduct themselves to this day. Clemente Passariello, who also worked in the restaurant before he passed away in 2007, was a fixture of smiles and pride of what his family built. His five children, including daughter Marianna, respect each other and always do what’s best for their families and the business. Their values are evident in everything they do.” As Pasquale stresses, it is not about making money—it’s about doing things right and putting the family name on something they are proud of.
In 2009, with an eye toward gradual expansion in which the family could remain the guiding force, a branding company was engaged to fine tune Passariello’s image. A bright new logo emerged, along with the formulation of the company’s core attributes that the brothers believe define their business: Tradition. Freshness. Informal. Fast. The Passariello family treasures its customers. “They don’t have to come here, but it is an honor every time someone walks through our door.” Says Pasquale. “It is important to us that our customers trust us.”
Along with being a destination of great food and an appealing meeting place for the past 20 years, the restaurant has greatly enhanced the appearance of Main Street. The family also consistently supports the community by supplying Hero cards to the local police, fire, and EMT members. The Passariellos support township youth sports teams, schools, Moorestown graduates, events, and many more noteworthy causes. The MBA has awarded Passariello’s a Spotlight Award for the flagship restaurant’s long-term success in Moorestown, and its role in helping to make it a better place to visit and live.
Photo: Members of the Passariello family and restaurant team, along with MBA Vice President Steven Pazienza (far left) and President Don Powell (center, back).
Photo credit: Tom Sheckels.
MBA 2016 Scholarship Winners
Aug 25, 2016 -
MOORESTOWN—Nine years ago, the Moorestown Business Association (MBA) established a scholarship program to acknowledge Moorestown High School seniors interested in pursuing a business major in college and who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in extracurricular and or community activities. Two scholarship winners are blindly selected each year through a review of submitted applications; the 2016 MBA Scholarship awardees are John Cantwell and Nori Horvitz.
Dan Posternock and Amy Leis chair the MBA’s scholarship committee, and spend a significant amount of time searching for the best candidates. “We follow a specific screening process to determine our scholarship recipients, with criteria that includes GPA and a passion for business,” explains Ms. Leis. “After reading over 100 applications, these two students stood head and shoulders above the field.”
Nori Horvitz originally wanted to be a doctor, but got hooked on business after taking Adam Roth’s website development class her freshman year. She joined Future Business Leaders of America and her enthusiasm for the subject continued to grow as she enrolled in every business class she could fit into her schedule. As her perspective developed she became interested in starting a non-profit business to assist underprivileged schools build their libraries. She founded UBUBiz, through which she ran successful small-scale book conventions that raised money to fill this need. She intends to maintain this business as she pursues her business degree at Babson College in Massachusetts this fall.
Even at ten years of age, John Cantwell was an entrepreneur. The youngster started his own landscape business while he was still in elementary school, and by the time he graduated from high school his company (Bellevue Landscaping LLC) had 11 employees and over 40 clients. John, who loves developing innovative products and excels in math, enjoyed the challenge of running his own business and learning from all aspects of the process. He sold his company at the conclusion of his senior year, and the proceeds will help pay for tuition as he earns a degree in business and engineering at Lehigh University.
John and Nori were notified that they had won the MBA scholarships during Moorestown High School’s Senior Award Ceremony just before they graduated from Moorestown High School this summer. The MBA Board congratulates the association’s 2016 scholarship winners, and wishes them much success as they continue to pursue their business careers.
Photo (l. to r.): Don Powell (MBA President), John Cantwell, Nori Horvitz, Amy Leis (MBA Board), Charles McCullough (MBA Treasurer), Steven Pazienza (MBA Vice President). Photo credit: Bill Kaisla
Moorestown Auto Body & Car Care earns MBA Spotlight Award
May 17, 2016 -
Moorestown Auto Body & Car Care
earns MBA spotlight award for making others shine
You might hope you won’t have to visit Moorestown Auto Body & Car Care, a Lenola district anchor business that has provided expert automobile body repair and reconstruction for decades. But when the need arises, customers are grateful for the proficiency and attention to detail they receive in the hands of Craig Dennin and his staff. Cars that arrive with severe damage from wrecks, or even the scrapes and scratches from parking lot encounters, leave Moorestown Auto Body showroom ready.
Dennin’s company is known for fair pricing, exceptional work, and not adding anything to the job that isn’t necessary, “If they don’t need it, I don’t sell it,” he explains. Top insurance companies list it as a preferred repair resource, and the dedicated office staff eases the process of navigating the paperwork. A number of Dennin’s customers come in for “re-repairs,” following up on less than satisfactory repair jobs done elsewhere. In recent years, auto body customers who had developed a trust in the company’s workmanship began to ask for other services. Because of these requests, Dennin decided to expand the business—he now also takes care of routine auto mechanical needs, such as oil changes, tune-ups, and brake alignments.
The iconic building on East Camden Avenue started out as an Army barracks structure in Medford that was moved in the 1920s to its current location. In the 1950s it housed a Rambler dealership, and by the 1960s it had become Schaaf’s Auto Body. Craig and his wife Denise, a speech pathologist, bought the business in 2003 and worked to build a reputation of caring and trust that customers have come to expect and recommend to others.
The Dennins devote the same kind of dedication and good will that frame their business towards the philanthropic work they do in the community. Through connections Denise developed by working with clients’ children, in the 1980s the Dennins became involved in HOMH (Hometown Opportunities for Mentally Handicapped), which is dedicated to enriching the lives of people with mental and physical challenges who are above the age of formal schooling. They started a theater troupe within the organization, offering participants (ages 18-60) the opportunity to experience performing on a stage in front of an audience. The plays they produce are all original, and in recent years all written by Craig and Denise after collaborating with the group’s participants.
The Dennins now have leadership roles in the organization, which has broadened its scope to provide access to life-skills training such as computer literacy and has branched out into subgroups offering multiple opportunities in the creative arts. HOMH attracts participants from throughout the tri-county area, and the flagship theater troupe, which has marched in the Mummers and other parades, is still going strong. Their latest show, “The Best Day,” included a reception with WMMR radio DJ Jacky Bam Bam and drew coverage from local media. Through Moorestown Auto Body, the Dennins also contribute to multiple other philanthropic needs in Moorestown each year.
As business leaders providing exceptional customer service and for their ongoing support and participation in enhancing the lives of others in our area, the Dennins and Moorestown Auto Body & Car Care are recipients of a Moorestown Business Association Spotlight Award. The MBA initiated its Spotlight Award program in 2015 to highlight local businesses that are making a positive impact on the community. Business owners and residents are invited to contact the MBA to share information about initiatives they have implemented or businesses they know that have taken measures to improve our community.
Photo: (l. to r., MBA Vice President Steven Pazienza, Moorestown Auto Body & Car Care owner Craig Dennin, and MBA President Don Powell). Photo credit: Tom Sheckels