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Espresso Gelato for Dad

Who’s influenced you the most in your life? For me, the answer is easy: my “Dare to Be Great” Dad. Today, I’ll tell you why – and I’ll share a Father’s Day gelato that’s sure to make any dad happy.

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Espresso Gelato for Dad

Written by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci

espresso-gelato-for-dadIf you were to ask who has influenced me the most in my life, I could tell you in one second. It’s my Dad for sure.

I call him my “Dare to Be Great” Dad, because, like everything I do,  there’s a story. Surprised?

My Dad’s parents came from a small town in Italy called Abruzzi (also called Abruzzo). Abruzzis are southern Italians, even though the region is situated in the central part of Italy. It’s so beautiful there, and even though sparsely populated when they lived there, it’s now a tourist spot, known for its picturesque scenery, skiing and abundance of beaches. My grandparents met (and I think fell in love, although this is up for debate with all of the Italian fire they had) and decided to move to the states to start a family.

They did so without a dime. No education, no driver’s license, no English, no nothing.

You can imagine the joy they had when then they had their first-born son. They enjoyed just him for four years, and then my grandma had a kid every year until the headcount was nine. Like I said, Italian fire. My grandfather got a job working on the train tracks and my grandma has the tougher job of taking care of nine kids – with no help. Remember, there were no washing machines, microwaves, Cheerios or Stouffers. It was she, a pound of dough, tomatoes, potatoes, some meat, and nine screaming kids. How in the world did she do it? Oh, and by the way, if you had to go to the bathroom, you had to go out back … to the outhouse.



My Dad got his first job very young. He had a paper route as soon as he was old enough to carry the sack. He continued to work throughout his life from that point on. The defining moment for my dad came when he was offered a “big job” at the steel mill (the hottest job in town at the time). So he worked there for years (outworking most!) and always had a smile on his face. Eventually, he was offered a managerial job, and boy was that the talk of the town — a huge deal!   

It was even a bigger deal when he turned the job down.

This was when he showed his true essence. He had a vision. He was going to be a business owner. So he saved all he could, and instead of accepting that job that would have brought him power and security (and I’m sure plenty of hot girls), he was true to himself. He opened his first business.

My dad went on to be a highly successful entrepreneur …  and husband, father and grandfather. He worked for his success, though, there were no shortcuts. Growing up with him as a dad, I remember that he was always sweet, kind, strong and driven, but giving his time was always a challenge. This is the life of an entrepreneur while building their vision.

But I was influenced, in a big and positive way. I worked with my Dad every day after school.  I’d go to his business and do whatever needed to be done. Instead of hanging out with friends, I watched, listened and observed my father’s values and his solid work ethic.

What this taught me was how our decisions really are our destiny, and where an intense drive and vision can land you. But my Dad has something really special that you just can’t buy — an amazing, bright attitude. 



This brings me to the “Dare To Be Great” stuff. So my Dad was a big Dale Carnegie fan. Reading his books was a part of “paying rent” in our house — something that was expected of you.  My dad was always filtering in these positive messages.

So I guess it was no surprise when he joined “Dare to Be Great,” an inspiration/motivational group in the area that helped members support their dreams. I will never forget going to those meetings with him. He actually truly used the stuff he learned from “Dare to Be Great,” and didn’t lose it three weeks later. He was supercharged with goodness and greatness all the time.

My sister and brothers will all tell you that we sure are fortunate to have had him as our role model.

Thanks to all the dads who have been and are great fathers and great role models, and a special thanks to my “Dare to Be Great” Dad!

Oh, and that steel mill? It folded. 

Caio for now. This Gelato is for you Dad.

Summertime. Espresso. Fathers Day. Gelato. Need I say more?

Keep thinking big and living bold!

-Dr. Kellyann


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