It’s not every day that businesses are sold to the people who staff them, and it’s even less common for the buyer to be a recently hired employee. But that is the case with Wilton business owner Matt Criscuolo.
He is selling Piccolo Pizza in Ridgefield, one of his several restaurants, to Humberto Morales, the Chilean native recently featured in The Bulletin for being hired in August as the executive chef of Criscuolo’s Babaloo Cocina Latina in Georgetown.
“It was time for a change,” Criscuolo told The Bulletin. “Owning four restaurants as a single person presents its own set of challenges, and I feel that I can be more effective with my other businesses and maintain better mental and emotional health by reducing some of my stress.”
Though Morales was primarily the executive chef of Babaloo, he did help to create specials for his employer’s pizzerias. “He was also my consultant chef,” Criscuolo said.
“Humberto was helping out at Piccolo to improve the menu, and while doing so, he realized that there was a lot of potential there for him to do his thing, so he approached me about it and I sold it to him,” he said.
Criscuolo doesn’t anticipate any major changes to Piccolo’s space or its menu — at least not yet, that is.
“At first, Humberto will improve on what is existing, and then little by little he will change the menu according to what the public wants, in conjunction with his own ideas,” the Wilton resident said.
Nevertheless, Criscuolo is confident in Morales’ abilities to keep Piccolo Pizza in business. “Humberto is a serious, hard-working man of integrity,” he said, “and will do everything and anything within his powers to make Piccolo Pizza the best restaurant around.”
But owning Piccolo means Morales won’t remain in the kitchen of Babaloo. That said, Criscuolo added, “I’m sure if I have any questions for him he will help me out, because we are friendly.”
In addition to Babaloo and Piccolo, Criscuolo owns Wilton Pizza and Toozy Patza Pizza.
The story referred to at the beginning of this article can be read at http://bit.ly/1ZMGRPS.