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Joseph Della Monica was a teacher, an advisor, an inspirational leader, a Korean Army veteran, a competitive minor league baseball player and a business owner who ran 27 BURGER KING ® Restaurants and employed over 1000 people. What started as 5 BK ® restaurants in the Bronx has grown to 27 stores almost 40 years later.
Joe was born in Brooklyn on Sept 28, 1927- the first born of Gaetano and Yolanda who had immigrated from Graniano, Italy. He went on to earn a scholarship and graduate from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
His father died at 42 when he was attending college and he had to leave school to come home to care for his mother and 3 younger siblings- Jean, Lola and Guy. He stepped into the father role for the family at young age of 19 with $14 in the bank.
Joe was a talented athlete, played professional baseball for Milwaukee Brewers. He was selected to play and be Captain for an All Star team and Babe Ruth was his coach, there is a picture hanging in his office and many stories to go with it.
After he graduated from Wharton, he went on to work for Proctor and Gamble. Where he learned about culture, a culture that is part in his Burger King ® restaurants today.
Joe recently purchased 13 BK ® restaurants in L.I. and closed on his 85th birthday. It was something he always wanted. He was the first one in the office and the last to leave everyday. His favorite thing to do on Saturday afternoons was to be in the restaurants talking to guests. That is where he gathered the best insights.
Joe has had a tremendous impact on the BURGER KING ® System. Many of the Franchisees in the NY-DMA got their starts by buying their first BURGER KING ® Restaurants from Joe and looked to him for guidance and mentorship. He sold Jim Frocarro Sr. his first BK® restaurant in Port Washington and Jim's sons have grown the BK ® restaurants to 50 at last count.
He would often say that most people use only 20% of their abilities- and pushed to use the other 80%. He taught us to believe in ourselves and to keep fighting and never get discouraged if it didn't work out the first time. He kept a plaque in his office that reminded him that Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times in his career. "Just Keep Swinging The Bat."
He was the brands biggest cheerleader. He was always thankful to be a part of this brand and hopeful for the future.
His son Jay and daughter Debbie are very proud to carry on his legacy, Joe taught them well.