A Father's Voice Never DiesWritten by Luciano Ciorciari June 21, 2020
Today we celebrate Father’s day. A tough day for those like myself and my brothers, who don’t have their father with them anymore. What would I give to have one more cup of coffee with him? There is so much I would want to share. Apologize for. Ask his advice. I am sure my brothers would too. And why didn’t we do it when he was around? Well, simply because that is not what we do as humans. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great relationship with him, but did I hug him enough? No. Did I tell him “I love you enough”? No.
It’s so easy to take those moments for granted. So much so that now I tell my 4 children all the time; No matter how young and beautiful I am, tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us. I advise them to look at me as their father, not as a friend, although I can be…but as their moral guide for life. Because that’s what a father is supposed to be. And that’s what our father is to us. I clearly remember him saying… “You got plenty of friends, you don’t need me as a friend, what you need is someone to teach you what is right and wrong…to guide you. To give you a moral foundation to stand on when the wind blows hard. And even when you don’t want to hear it and you don’t like to hear it, I will never give up on telling you what is right.”…and he never did.
So for the last 11 years, ever since he has been gone, whenever we have to make tough decisions, we turn to him and ask ourselves…. “What would Dad do?”…and the answer magically arrives. My father, the hero, comes to our rescue.
More present than ever, his advice came approximately one year ago, when we had to make a tough decision to leave behind Gaucho Gourmet, the name of the business we inherited from him, and rebrand as Food Related. We, as a family, struggled with the thought of betrayal. This is Dad’s name. He loved it. Gaucho Gourmet is his name. We asked ourselves, are we doing something wrong by leaving it behind? And so we asked him, once again. And the message we received was a solid “no.”
He made us realize that what was most important to him was that we not leave behind the values he taught us. The values of Honesty, Respect, Gratitude, Fairness, and Trustworthiness. He said whatever you decide to call “your” business now, you must conduct it with these 5 values in mind. And with that, we felt encouraged to move forward. We felt strong. His voice made us strong.
Now, we would have to find a brand that could bring this message of family and values forward. We needed a brand that would bring forth our sincere passion for great food, and also shine our family values. And so Food Related, with a big fat yellow heart was born. Because that heart right smack in the middle is where these five clear values stem from…love. Love is the source of all those values he left us. And love is what we serve
Then, on Father’s day, I went to visit his grave and present our new brand to him. Around the cemetery, you will see benches with different families’ last names, who have paid for them. But next to my father’s grave, there was always a bench with no name. Odd enough, I always wondered why someone would buy it and not put their name. Never made sense.
Looking for approval and advice, just as if he was alive, I told him that Food Related was now our brand that we would take forward to live out his values. Closing my eyes, and with a deep breath, I told him, as the child that I still am to him, “Dad, we want to make you proud, give me a sign this was the right move.” As I turned to walk away, on the same bench that sat next to his grave and under a tree, I saw inscripted the same message that I have been reading for 10 years now, but this time, it all made sense... “Loving Memories Last Forever”...and thus, he confirmed our message and purpose. The heart we put in the center of our brand symbolizing our strongest asset and the foundation of our values would be the driving element for all we do, and we will use it to create everlasting memories. The type of memories that last beyond this lifetime…
Because when it’s all said and done, that is all we take with us. Our memories.