Interview with Emanuele Ponzo of Crateful Catering

Crateful Catering and meal delivery service, founded by Emanuele Ponzo, comes with quite the backstory. Emanuele pivoted from being a world-class athlete to building a multi-million dollar business.

Crateful Catering known as Crateful offers indulgent menus for luxury and corporate clients created by celebrity chefs with an emphasis on healthy ingredients and nutritional value.

 

Crateful boasts luxury and celeb clients such as Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, Mark Wahlberg, John Legend, Ferarri, Rolls Royce, and Armani along with major corporations like Netflix, Fox, Warner Brothers, and JP Morgan. Emanuele’s company was also selected to run most of the parties in the last Sundance Festival in 2020.

Crateful catered our own Malibu wedding with various stations like fresh live burrata making with accouterments, made-to-order tacos, and exquisite passed appetizers. We discovered their exciting culinary prowess at the Live & Dine LA food festival at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica and later in Angelino Magazine.

Crateful was birthed after Emanuele came to America from his home country of Italy to Los Angeles. With little to no English and about to welcome a new baby, Emanuele’s first challenge was to learn the language. His desire to succeed in business lead him to move to LA with a dream. Emanuele was ready for the challenge after an injury tampered his soccer career and hard work and persistence as an attorney and real estate entrepreneur lead to successful business ventures in Europe where he became somewhat of the original Airbnb in Italy. Upon arrival to the U.S., he studied the market for 4 months by watching and following the eating habits of Americans.

Learn more about Emanuele’s journey building a business from scratch in the book Keeping Score, an Influencer Book Series written by Adam Torres.

Some of our favorite quotes from the book include:

“….they had one thing that elevated them to a higher level. They surrounded themselves with great players. When you surround yourself with other great players, your game gets better.”

“The success we had in those early years was mainly due to great relationships…..we were dedicated to creating an amazing work environment that made people want to work with us and be part of something special.”

“All too often I hear entrepreneurs with grand ideas but they never actually get started… My style may not be for everyone, but I say you should get up and try your idea right now. Give it all you have. Don’t leave any gas in the tank. If one venture fails, start another one. With every little success you have, you gain an edge. You gain experience and knowledge to take with you into your next venture. You are proving to yourself that you can win.”

Question and Answer with Emanuele Ponzo

Q: Despite the challenging times of restaurants being shut down like a blinking light in Los Angeles, how has Crateful Catering managed to keep business afloat during the pandemic?

A: Our company lost a lot of income, but we are creating experiences for movie and musical shootings, online cooking classes with luxury brands, and sending customized food baskets to clients around the United States. Sometimes Crateful coordinates and plans private high-end intimate dinners for families. Crateful will also have a new concept launching by the end of the year.

Q: How has Crateful continued to give back?

A: My Crateful team and I have found ways to help others in Los Angeles, especially many low-income hospitals. During the pandemic, we launched a donation campaign called Fuel Them LA to serve thousands of meals to the frontline workers where I was in charge of business operations and delivery. I was recognized as a Los Angeles hero by Mayor Garcetti in Angeleno Magazine.

Q: What has been your greatest professional achievement thus far?

A: Being foreign and developing a food company in the most competitive city on the planet – that is considered one of the top 5 companies with meal delivery services has been one of my greatest achievements. Also, we have been deemed the best company for Business Excellence in Beverly Hills. Also, that we work with top celebrities, entertainment companies like Netflix, WB, Luxury Brands like Ferrari, Bulgari, Rolls Royce, Armani …….and have millions of dollars of gross revenue and every year double the revenue I think it is a great achievement.

Q: Why do you love LA?

A: After leaving Italy to move to LA in 2014: “I loved the opportunities that come every day with living in LA, the open market, and how I can challenge myself by learning from many other people from many different cultures and countries. The vibe of the city is what makes me love LA as well as the weather because it allows you to live outside most of your day.”

One thing rings true after reading Emanuele’s Ponzo’s book, hard work pays off and seems to be the best measure of success – in anything. 

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