Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Now the Mob guys go to the lawyers......America's decline continues unabated.

Rao’s family feud could ruin food empire

  New York Post Page Six


Mama mia! A family feud is threatening to tear apart the Rao food empire.
The majority shareholders in the legendary Italian restaurant Rao’s in Harlem and its Battery Park specialty foods business are trying to push out founding father Vincent Rao’s nephew, Ronald Straci, and his wife, Sharon, both of whom hold a smaller 25 percent stake in the company, according to papers filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The couple says in their suit that they helped start the tomato sauce business in 1991 after they were initially approached with the idea by Vincent, his wife, Ann Pellegrino Rao, and another nephew, Frank Pellegrino Sr.
Strasi and several law partners each coughed up about $15,000 to start the Raos Specialty Foods at 17 Battery Place in lower Manhattan, the suit says.

The group agreed that 50 percent of the company’s shares would go to the Raos and Frank Pellegrino, while the other 50 percent would be spread out among Straci and other investors, the suit charges.
But over the years, most of the shareholders passed away and bequeathed their stakes in the company to various family members, the suit says.
The group agreed that 50 percent of the company’s shares would go to the Raos and Frank Pellegrino, while the other 50 percent would be spread out among Straci and other investors, the suit charges.
But over the years, most of the shareholders passed away and bequeathed their stakes in the company to various family members, the suit says.
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(From left) Frank Pellegrino Jr., Frank Pellegrino Sr. and Ron StraciPhoto: Patrick McMullan
The hierarchy within the company also went through changes. For example, in 1994, Sharon Straci was appointed to run the specialty foods business and was in charge of running day-to-day operations, which included meeting with shareholders. Ronald was appointed secretary.
But for the past 12 years, since 2004, the shareholders have not met once with the Stracis — and all communication has ceased, the suit says.
In the suit, the Stracis say they’ve made many sacrifices for the company when no one else stepped up to the plate, including taking out a $250,000 loan to pay expenses.
They also claimed that they were never paid for about five years until finally the shareholders agreed to pay them a salary as shareholders themselves.
Under the Stracis’ leadership, the suit says, the company has seen remarkable growth, achieving an extraordinary 45 percent market share with the super supreme pasta sauce.
As a result, there has been major interest from potential buyers in the company, but the majority shareholders have rebuffed all efforts, creating friction between the families.
“The Majority Shareholders have stated that they will block all such sales and investment proposals and refuse to consider them, at least until they have pushed the Stracis out,” the suit says.

3 comments:

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

It is time to settle all family business...

Sixty Grit said...

Straci or Strasi? Or just plain Stasi?

ricpic said...

It's that stoonad Sharon. That control freak. She couldn't leave well enough alone.

I would say more but I am a man of dignity. A man of few words. Who'm I kidding, I wouldn't last ten minutes in that world. I'd laugh inappropriately. At the wrong time. It's the dignity thing. I could never pull that off. The kiss of death.